My husband has been bugging me to make gumbo ever since we started harvesting okra from our garden. But I have a problem making hot soup food when it is a hundred degrees outside!
Now that the weather has cooled, I thought alcohol would be awesome in gumbo. AND... seeing as how I've never made a gumbo, I think this one was great! I found a recipe on the Food Network's site, but felt that I could do it better: I used bacon fat, because anything with bacon fat is automatically good. Too, I used three times as much bourbon. First of all, you cook off part of it. Then, I thought, I want to taste it!! So I added more when I put the shrimp in the mix... Much better!
I've decided that, along with chili and my Sick Day Chicken Soup (http://www.kitchenpsycho.com/1/post/2011/01/sick-day.html), this will be a Fall/Wintertime favorite! SOOOO gooood!
BOURBON, CHICKEN & SHRIMP GUMBO
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup bacon fat drippings (or you can just use 1/2 cup veg oil)
1/2 all-purpose flour
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey (I used Knob Creek)
6 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 pounds frozen chicken thighs and leg, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces (if they're frozen, they'll be perfectly cooked when the whole thing is done!)
2 cups sliced okra
2 bay leaves
1-2 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)
Combine the oil and the flour in a stockpot over medium heat. With a wooden spoon stir the mixture slowly and constantly. After about 5 minutes the mixture will begin to foam. Keep stirring. This mixture is called a roux. As the roux cooks, the color will darken and the flour will have a nice nutty aroma. It should take about 15 minutes to fully develop a nice dark brown roux.
Now add the celery, onions and peppers and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add half of the bourbon after about five minutes and stir for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth about a cup at a time, stirring. Add the remaining ingredients, diced tomatoes, chicken, okra, bay leaves, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, skimming off the oil that rises to the surface and stirring occasionally. In the last 7 minutes, add the shrimp and remaining bourbon and cook until the shrimp is no longer pink. At the very last minute add the fresh cilantro. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove bay leaves and serve with rice!
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg