SLOW COOKER GUMBO
1/4 C oil - I used olive, some say canola
1/4 C all-purpose flour
For the gumbo:
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb Andouille sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C frozen cut okra (or more if you’re an okra lover)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained, or fresh tomatoes if you'd rather
1 small can mild diced green chilies, undrained
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
black pepper to taste (but be pretty generous)
1 tsp Creole seasoning, such as Zatarain’s (If you happen to have it. If not, you’ll be fine without it.)
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cooked
A roux is an equal mix of flour and fat (either butter or oil), and it basically thickens and helps to flavor a dish. Depending on how long you cook your roux, it can be either light, medium, or dark. If your roux begins to burn at all, there’s no saving it. You’ll need to throw it out and start over. It’s disheartening, but it’s not the end of the world. To help prevent this from happening, you will need to:
- Make sure your heat is not too high.
- Stir constantly.
- Remove from heat before you think it’s quite done. The heat from the pan will continue to cook and darken the roux.
In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat (closer to medium than high), combine oil and flour to make your roux. Whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the roux becomes fragrant and just begins to darken. Turn heat down to low and whisk constantly for several more minutes, or until the roux is about the color of peanut butter. I made two cups and split it - took me about 40 minutes to cook all that to the right color. You can really tell when it turns, the smell is gorgeous.
Pour the roux into the crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT shrimp. The mixture will seem all raw and gross at this point. Trust. Stir and cover. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
When you have about 20 minutes to go, add the shrimp.
Serve over rice.
- I made this as a prep ahead and freeze meal. I put all ingredients in a freezer bag and froze it flat. I made the roux in a large batch and froze it in individual disks, dropped one disk in the baggie as I froze it. It might have worked better if I'd poured it in liquid and let it freeze coating it, which I might try next time I make roux. As it was I have 7 roux disks individually frozen in baggies to add as needed.
To cook the freezer bag, pull out of freezer, pour into cooker, cook on low for 8-9 hours. I added a can of rotel in the pot when I poured in the freezer bag, and about 1/8 cup of chicken broth to give a little liquid. You can let the bag sit in the sink to thaw for half an hour or so if you need to be able to break up the veg to fit in your cooker pot.
- Add cayenne pepper in the last couple of hours if you like it spicier as I do. It needed the spice kicked up a little.