Nothing says "New Orleans" like this thick soup. This recipe makes a Creole-style gumbo, using chicken or shrimp.
You Will Need
* 1 lb. fresh okra
* 1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 lb. whole shrimp in the shell
* 1/2 lb. andouille sausage
* 1/2 lb. boneless chicken
* 1/2 c. flour
* 3 garlic cloves
* 1 onion
* 2 celery stalks
* 1 green pepper
* 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
* 1/2 tsp. black pepper
* 1 tsp. fresh thyme
* 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 to 3 tsp. salt
* A kitchen knife
* A large skillet
* A soup pot
* Large shallow bowls
* 2 tsp. Creole seasoning (optional)
* 1 small can lump crabmeat (optional)
* 1 can oysters (optional)
* Filé powder (optional)
Step 1: Fry the okra
Remove stems and tips from the okra and slice it. Fry the okra in 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat until it is soft.
Step 2: Prepare stock
Peel and devein the shrimp, saving the peels and heads. Boil 2 quarts of water and add the peels and heads. Simmer until reduced by half and strain to remove the peels.
Step 3: Brown the meat
Slice and brown the sausage and chicken.
Step 4: Make a roux
Make a roux. In a large soup pot add the flour to ½ cup of heated oil. Cook over low heat, stirring until the flour turns a rich peanut butter color.
Step 5: Add vegetables and stock
Mince the garlic; dice the onions, celery, and pepper; and add them to the roux. Stir and cook until soft. Stir in the shrimp stock, tomatoes, and spices, except the salt, and bring to a low boil.
Step 6: Add meat and okra
Add the okra and meat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until it reaches the desired thickness. Add salt to taste.
Step 7: Serve
Serve over hot rice in large shallow bowls. For extra thick gumbo, sprinkle on filé powder just before serving. Goes great with crackers or hot French bread. Enjoy!