Gumbo is special. I grew up in the south, but New Orleans south is different. I’m going to go ahead and say it, I like it better. At least for the food. There is something about cajun creole culinary delights that sing to my soul. I was down there not that long ago, searching for some authentic down home cuisine, and unfortunately, there were a lot of misses. I went to every old bourbon street haunt I could get my hands on… admittedly not the place to do that. I fell for the big brass street bands and thick accents alluring me to venture into restaurants emitting glorious supper fragrances that are unmistakably Louisiana.
Garlic, shellfish, and holy trinity (green bells, onion, and celery) lofted from every window. I had to have it. Turns out, I needed better.
I had to make it better. In my experience, highly trafficked tourist areas can get a bit complacent in their ingredient quality and presentation. They get the transient business either way. I took the best parts of the experience and elevated it to what I would perceive to be the most memorable and delightful elements. Plus, who the heck knows what to do with this weird looking celeriac root from the CSA? This is what I came up with. I think it’s amazing, and I hope you love it too! Humbly,
New Orleans Style Gumbo… but Better
1 lb. large prawns, peeled, deveined, and sliced in half lengthwise
1 lb. andouille sausage, cooked and sliced
1 lb. roasted chicken, cut to bite size pieces
1 lb. celeriac root, skin removed, and diced to small bite size pieces
1 lb. onion, diced
1 lb. green bell pepper, diced
1 lb. okra, fresh or frozen
2 cups basmati rice, steamed
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. Louisiana style hot sauce (chili vinegar blend)
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
As much chicken stock to bring to desired soupy perfection 4-6 cups
3 Tbsp. bacon fat
¼ cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add celeriac and onion to a non stick pan on high heat with 1 Tbsp bacon fat until lightly browned (~5 minutes)
- Add green bell pepper and okra. Brown for another ~5 minutes
- Add 2 cups stock, chicken, andouille, and garlic. Simmer for another ~5 minutes
- Separately, in a nonstick skillet, stir remaining 2 Tbsp. bacon fat with all purpose flour and stir constantly on medium high heat until dark golden brown. Add to soup.
- Add cajun seasoning, thyme, hot sauce, and prawns, then simmer for another ~10 minutes
- Add rice and stock to desired consistency.
- Top with fresh chopped parsley.
This is so hearty and savoury and perfect for these last cold months before spring!
Thanks for stopping by 🙂