About the Recipe
Nothing says Louisiana and warms my soul like a good Gumbo. When I first got my diagnosis and changed my eating habits to fit the recommendations of the Hoxsey clinic, I feared I would never find a version of this beloved dish that would be compliant. However, I finally found a brand of smoked sausage that fit the bill, at least for me! Now I make this often, and it's a crowd favorite when I have guests!
**Gumbo is traditionally served with white rice, but you could use brown rice or even quinoa. I personally serve my gumbo with roasted cauliflower.**
4 Tbsp Flour
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium-sized White Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño Pepper (seeds and ribs removed), diced -or- 1 can of Rotel Brand Tomatoes
# Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (Organic if possible)
1 pack of Wellborne Brand Turkey Smoked Sausage
1- 16 oz. bag of Frozen Precut Okra, ends removed¹
Prep all veggies. Chop sausage (whatever size and shape you prefer) and season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. This prep is very important! You need to have your onion and garlic ready to go as they will stop the roux from overcooking!
Preheat a large pot to a medium-high heat and brown the chicken thighs on both sides. They won’t get overly brown but you want to see a bit of crisp on them. This also seasons the pot and makes your roux more flavorful. You will most likely have to do these in shifts. Once all have been seared, remove from the pot and set aside.
Brown your chopped sausage – either in the same pot or another skillet.
Lower the heat to medium and add 4 tbsp of oil. When it is shimmering, sprinkle in your 4 tbsp of flour, stirring or whisking constantly until all lumps are gone. The roux will start to brown a bit, just keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick.² There should be pieces of the chicken stuck to the bottom of the pot – just work the roux around them. Cook to desired color.³
Have your chopped onion and garlic handy. When the roux reaches the color you want, dump the veggies in and stir well. You can also throw the chopped jalapeño in at this point. Let this cook for just a couple of minutes.
Add your chicken and sausage to the roux/veggie mixtures and stir until well coated.
Add XX Cups of water. Bring your heat to high and stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan until the fond (the chicken and other bits that stuck to the pan while browning) is loose. Add okra and 1 tbsp salt plus black pepper to taste.
Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to a heavy simmer.
Stir periodically. After 1.5 hours, taste and add additional salt or pepper as needed. Enjoy!
I remove the ends from the okra because they don't cook down well. They can add a hard texture to gumbo that I personally dislike.
When making a roux, you must watch it at all times and stir constantly. I do not cook my roux for 30 minutes on a low heat, as is common. I personally think that is a waste of time and makes the roux taste burnt. I cook my roux over a much higher/medium-high heat and it’s ready in about 5 minutes. However, that means you must monitor and stir constantly to ensure you get it dark enough, but not burnt. It is a very fine line and a burnt roux cannot be worked around. If you burn it, you dump it and start over.
When I was first cooking roux, I got mine to a milk chocolate color because I was afraid of the dreaded "burn". Now, I push it very close to dark chocolate because the best gumbos I’ve ever made came from a roux I initially thought I burned. As you get more comfortable, you’ll let it go longer and longer because you’ll start to recognize the warning signs. However, as you get started, at least let it get the color of milk chocolate. You are far away from it burning and the browning is what helps give it flavor.