Daring Cook’s Challenge: Gumbo

14 May

I’ve never been to New Orleans. That’s sad. I’ve wanted to go to New Orleans for as long as I can remember. My Dad used to promise that some year we would go to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras. Yeah, well, that didn’t pan out so well.

A lot of things come to mine when you hear or talk about New Orleans. Obviously, Katrina is a big one. But I’m talking about GOOD things. Delicious things.

Beignets.

Po Boys.

Crawfish.

Jambalaya.

King Cake.

GUMBO.

All these things are foreign to me. Well, except the beignets and po boys. Those I’ve had. But nothing else. The cuisine in New Orleans makes my mouth water. I keep telling my husband that I want to go to New Orleans for our next vacation, but he doesn’t like to listen to me. ::shakes fist::

Thank goodness this month’s Daring Cook’s challenge was Gumbo because there happened to be a Gumbo recipe in my new cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen. I love this book. I love my slow cooker, but let’s face it, sometimes you throw something in the slow cooker and then fish it out, sometimes it just doesn’t taste good. It’s an amalgam of something. Don’t get me wrong, there are other times I put something in the slow cooker and it turns out AMAZING. Slow Cooker Revolution’s recipes are a little more involved than just throwing ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it do it’s magic, but believe me, the extra steps are WORTH IT.

Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I substituted using chicken base and boiling water)
  • 1.25lb andouille sausage, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 12oz frozen cut okra, thawed and patted dry
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • dried parsley and red pepper flakes for garnish
Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour to a Dutch oven over medium heat and stir constantly until it begins to brown. Take off the heat and whisk in the oil until smooth. Cover pot, place in oven and cook about 45 minutes.
Remove pot from oven and whisk roux to combine.
Stir in onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, thyme and cayenne into roux and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, making sure to scrape the edges and removing any clumps. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, then carefully transfer to slow cooker.
Stir in sausage, okra and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken on top of the slow cooker ingredients. Carefully push the chicken down until it is just covered. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low.
Once the chicken is tender, carefully remove the chicken and shred. Once the stew has settled, remove any fat from the surface. Remove bay leaves. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and stir in and let sit for 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls, and add scallions and garnish.
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14 Responses to “Daring Cook’s Challenge: Gumbo”

  1. blepharisma May 14, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    YES!! This challenge made me want to go to NOLA even more than I already did!! There seems to be more of an association with food than anywhere else!! So distinct and delicious! Great job 🙂

  2. andy May 14, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Looks yummy!!!

  3. Ruth H. May 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I was wondering about a slow cooker gumbo… I am so glad you did it! Maybe next time I will give it a go… Your finished stew looks amazing. Great work on this challenge!

  4. Audax Artifex May 15, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    WOW the final gumbo looks so fabulous and great to hear that it worked out so well. I love the idea of the slow cooker.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  5. Claire May 15, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Good job on your gumbo, it looks delicious! 🙂

  6. Nada Mortin May 15, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Hey, I found your site from digg. It’s not an article I would normally read, but I loved your spin on it. Thanx for making a blog post worth reading!

  7. Elizabeth May 16, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I don’t do seafood but I love okra. Nice job!

  8. Emily @ A Cambridge Story May 17, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    This is serendipitous. I’m going to New Orleans tomorrow! That gumbo looks fab!

    • kitchenmisfit May 17, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      I am REALLY jealous of you!!! I’m going to live vicariously through you when you post about your trip!

  9. Jenni May 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Great job on your gumbo! It looks great! New Orleans is a fun place to visit – definitely a place to let yourself be silly and go on ghost tours and have your palm read. So much to see and do – and EAT! I hope you get to go sometime!

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  4. Chai Peach Pie, or, How Shopping at the Farmers Market Changed My Life (a little bit) | My Rubberbandball - July 2, 2011

    […] bag of okra despite the fact that I knew it might be an unwelcome sight in our house. But I made gumbo with it! For the first time ever! And it was […]

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