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Old 01-13-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
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Gumbo base

I've used Zatarains gumbo base before, and wondered if anyone knows how to make the base? I forgot to buy it at the store today and the weather is too lousy to go back out again. Any suggestions? I use chicken and jalapeno kielbasa in my gumbo.

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Old 01-13-2005, 01:58 PM   #2
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This one of the few recipes I have on my hard drive...I'm so unorganized!!!


SIMPLE CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO


Perhaps the simplest of the gumbos, but a hearty one and a classic combination. If you can't find andouille, use a local smoked sausage or kielbasa or whatever smoked sausage you like. This one's easy to knock off quickly for a great evening's meal.


1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large chicken (young hen preferred), cut into pieces
2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Filé powder to taste
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly. Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux. If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut-butter color, over lower heat if you're nervous about burning it.

Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.

Add the stock, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.

Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a good beer and lots of hot, crispy French bread.

YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:59 PM   #3
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Gumbo is fairly time-consuming but well worth it - here is a basic recipe that should help.

3 T vegetable oil
3 T all-purpose flour
1 T Kitchen Bouquet
1 T dried parsley
2.5-3.5 lbs chicken breast (with skin and bone)
1 # smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 t Gumbo Filet
1 t salt (or more to taste)
1/4 t pepper
Pinch of red pepper (cayenne)
Dash of worcestershire sauce
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, halved
2 celery sticks, halved
3 green onion stalks, chop bottoms and save tops to slice and sprinkle over gumbo after cooking
2 toes garlic, minced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1/2 t thyme
2 qts water
3 cups cooked rice (1.5 cups uncooked)

In a large, deep pot brown chicken in oil (5-10 minutes on each side) and remove to cool. Fry sausage in oil for 5 minutes or until browned and remove to drain/cool. Add flour to make a "roux" and cook over low to med-low fire stirring once every minute at least until it is golden brown. This part is very important - do not let it burn! If you smell it starting to burn, lower the fire immediately! The roux is the "base" of many cajun recipes and sets the flavor for the entire meal.

Next, add onion, green onion bottoms, and garlic. Saute until transparent/soft. Then add water and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT green onion tops, gumbo filet, and parsley. Peel chicken off of bone into bite size chunks and add to pot. Bring to a boil over the highest fire uncovered. Leave uncovered and cook over med-high fire 35 minutes. Turn fire off and add sliced green onion tops, gumbo filet, and parsley. Remove green peppers, celery, and bay leaf. Serve over rice.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:04 PM   #4
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This is the base, in my book. Everything else is up to your imagination.

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:07 PM   #5
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thanks guys! What is gumbo filet? What is file`? Doesnt sound like something I have on hand. Is it important to the base?
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:14 PM   #6
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file is ground sassafras leaves - I never put it in the base but I do sprinkle it on once in the individual bowls. I've lived without it so it's not absolutely necessary but when you do use it you will say - ohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! so that's what that taste is! The "e" has a little mark over it - I seem to have lost my character map to make that happen!
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
This is the base, in my book. Everything else is up to your imagination.

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped

I use the same but I add two tablespoons tomato paste and 4 cloves of garlic.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
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I would allow tomato paste and garlic.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
I would allow tomato paste and garlic.
The tomato paste is a very nice touch......just don't use to much.
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Old 01-15-2005, 10:46 PM   #10
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Im not going to compete with the other gumbo recipies posted since they look great but I will tell you this: I've had both Zatarains and made it from scratch and there is absolutely no comparison.

Only problem is that every time I make it from scratch it get's out of control. Last time I think I did a 5 liter wok worth of it.
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