My dear husband supports me taking trips while he stays home and makes money. Usually these trips are for business, but now I recently visited my parents in Maine. I had a great visit with my parents and they enjoyed playing with their youngest grandson who they only see twice a year.
My husband demands one condition before I leave him for a trip: there must be leftovers to sustain him until I return. He knows how to cook, he just usually won’t to feed himself. Before we married, the only things in his refrigerator were bottled water, rotisserie chicken leftovers, coffee, lettuce, and chicken vindaloo microwave dinners. The one time I left him without a dish was when our son was two months old and he asked me two days before I left to visit my parents – at a time when I could barely manage to shower every day.
For this trip, I made gumbo in order to use up the frozen okra from last year before the new okra came in. I also had rubbery industrial chicken breast to use in a way that would hide their tastelessness. I call this recepie: Yankee’s Super Gumbo
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 lbs of kielbasa sausage, sliced and fried
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 chicken breasts
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 2 lbs of sliced okra
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 dashes of Tabasco sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups boiled rice to serve
First chop the onion, celery, and green peppers and fry in the vegetable oil until soft. While the vegetables are frying, put chicken breast in a saucepan with 7 cups of water and boil until the roux is finished.
Onions, celery, and green pepper are essential for gumbo.
The next step is making a roux. I’ve found lots of recipes that call for 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of vegetable oil. I tried that and the gumbo was so greasy we could barely stomach it even after I scooped off the oil slick on top. Most recipes call for at least 1/2 cup of flour and oil. I tried that too and it was still disgustingly greasy. Finally, I cut it to 1/4 cup flour and a few tbsp oil, just enough oil to fry the vegetables. Bingo! Once the vegetables are soft, add the flour and cook until the flour turns a deep brown. While you’re stirring often, you can fry the sausage (I use 2 lbs of kielbasa).
The best roux – not too heavy and a complement to the rest of the dish.
Once the roux is a deep brown, add the okra, chicken broth, sausage, chopped chicken breast and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Gumbo in the pot: not too gooey, not too oily. Just right!
Serve over rice and enjoy. My husband was a happy eater and I flew off to enjoy beautiful summer days with my family in Maine. He ate gumbo every night for nine days and finished it just as I returned to swelter with him in 100+ degree heat. Oof, take this Yankee back to New England.
A hearty dinner that makes leftovers for a week.