October is Gumbo Season
Updated: Oct 18
Typically, in Louisiana, when the temps drop outside, it's a signal for the Gumbo season.
I just taught a virtual class on the secrets of my Gumbo for the local coop recently, it's been a learning curve to learn how to be comfortable talking to a screen instead of living folks. All in all, it went great, I made the roux really fast, demonstrating a new technique of heating the oil really hot, toss in the flour, and stir like crazy. The result is a super quick roux that gets dark really fast. I also taught my students how to make a plant-based version of gumbo that is nothing short of delicious.
This is the state soup that cooks with Jazz! It's said that there are as many recipes as there are cooks in Louisiana for Gumbo. Made with everything except red meat, there are countless variations, depending on the season. It freezes beautifully and keeps for up to 3 months in the freezer. This gumbo can be totally Vegan with the swap out of the sausage and chicken for Mock Duck.
Watch me make Roux, the secret to great Gumbo
Substitutions and Ingredient Information
oil- any high smoke point oil will work
Flour- White bleached or unbleached flour will work, rice flour can be used for Gluten-Free roux
Garlic- chopped in a jar works great too.
Sausage- For meat lovers, Hillshire farm, or comparable brand Vegan Sausage- I suggest Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage.
You can also use a can of kidney or white beans, drained and rinsed.
Chicken- Boneless chicken chunks or cooked chicken works. Wild game good too.
Rice- Brown, white, or wild rice
4 ounces avocado oil canola is ok too
4 ounces white flour (or enough to make a smooth paste)
2 each fresh yellow onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 gallon chicken stock or vegetable stock low sodium
1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
1 pound Smoked turkey sausage or Vegan Link Sausage
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet optional
1 can mock duck drained and diced for the Vegan version, this will stand-in for the chicken
1 pound boneless chicken, diced (bone-in pieces are ok too, just double amount)
2 tablespoons Lea and Perrin or Amys Vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 pound sliced okra thawed and drained
1/2 ounce white vinegar
4 cups brown rice cooked
file powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
Directions 1. In a black iron skillet with a wooden spoon mix the oil and flour to make a medium brown roux, stirring constantly approx 20 minutes. It should be the color of peanut butter when finished. 2. Transfer roux to Dutch oven and add vegetables and seasonings. Cook until glazed over with roux. Slowly add chicken or vegetable stock. In the black iron skillet cook smoked sausage for 5 minutes to brown and add to stock. Cook Chicken in Cajun seasoning in the same skillet, add to stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally. For the Vegan version, drain Mock Duck and dice into small pieces. Set aside and add at the end of cooking. 3. Cook Okra in a skillet to remove slime which is actually a sugar-like substance. Cook until okra starts to break down about 10-15 minutes. Add vinegar to okra and continue cooking a few more minutes. Add cooked Okra to gumbo and cook one hour over low heat. Before serving, stir in chopped parsley and chopped green onions. 4. Serve gumbo over hot rice placed in a bowl with a dash of File powder and a splash of Tabasco. 5. Yields one-half gallon and can be increased easily. 6. Chef’s note- Rice is always served separately in the bowl first, do not add rice to the soup as it will expand when cooled.