well, to kick-off 2007, i fixed a HUUUUUUGE pot of gumbo for the family, and it's my famous chicken + beef sausage + shrimp + snowcrab clusters + lump blue crab meat + crawfish + turkey andouille gumbo.
that's right... i put EVERYTHING in there.
to get things kicked-off, i debone two whole chickens-reserving the meat for a quick browning later. i roast the bones, necks, wing tips, etc. and the wing tips from 1 large pack of chicken wings in the oven-until VERY brown. after browning, i place them in a simmering pot of water with chopped celery, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and carrots... i bring this to a boil and simmer for 4-6 hours.
with about 30 min to go on the stock, i get the roux ready by doing what i call a "shrimp infusion" because i while it's still hot, i sprinkle-in about 1/4 lb of dried, powdered shrimp in it to carry the shrimp flavor thru.
about 1-1/2 cups of this roux is added to carmelized celery, onion, and bell pepper and then added to the "skimmed" stock... and this is simmered for about 1 more hour. with about 30 min to go, i add-in the remaining ingredients, but one thing i noticed...
while the gumbo is hot (with heat), it's also hot (with spices). but as it cools off (temp.), i notice that the spices also mellow out. i told my friends from out of town to let their gumbo cool for about 5 min before eating... while the locals dove right-in; they got the full effect.
as the saying goes... "the gumbo is ALWAYS better the next day, and while you're eating it, if you're NOT sweating and/or blowing your nose, it ain't seasoned enough."
can anyone tell me why the temp affects the spices sooooo much?