At the New York Times Travel Show, I watched Chef Prudhomme make gumbo. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’ve always been curious about homemade Louisiana cooking. We recently got a fresh dump of snow in New York City and gumbo was just the right dish to eat for dinner. The secret here is the roux, a mixture of wheat flour and fat. Roux is the basis of French sauces and most Louisiana cooking; burn it and you have to start over. I added bacon to this recipe to use the last installment of bacon I received as a birthday present. I made enough to give back to the lovely people who thought about giving it to me in the first place.
6 pieces chicken drumsticks
3 pieces of andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
5 slices of bacon, chopped in small pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
a handful of okra, cut into smaller pieces
1 small can of diced tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
3 tbsps Creole seasoning
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
1. Make roux. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil in medium heat until somewhat smoking. Pour flour and mix with a whisk. Keep mixing for about 15 minutes or until flour is red-orange. This roux is your base. If black spots start to appear in the flour, it means you’ve burnt it. You have to start over. Remove from heat and add all the vegetables and the spices. Keep mixing with the whisk to help cool down the roux. Set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, render the fat from the bacon. Remove the bacon to a plate. Using the fat, brown the chicken drumsticks. Remove chicken to a plate.
3. Using the same fat and adding a little more oil as necessary, brown the sausages. Add the broth and the tomatoes and add back the chicken, the bacon and the roux.
4. Simmer and cook the chicken while ocassionally mixing to make sure it doesn’t dry up. Add more stock as necessary and adjust to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add the okra and cook until tender the last 10 minutes.