I love street food so when I thought about something from the south of the USA, it had to be gumbo. This recipe is an adaptation of several I'd read across the web.
This was my first attempt at cooking gumbo, something I kept putting off and putting off. I thought it was going to be more tricky than it actually was. The key here is getting everything ready and measured out so you aren't having to mess about mid cooking!!
I searched the web and read up on the finer points of gumbo cooking, and realised having a decent roux is essential. This recipe is a mix of several but at the centre of each is the holy trinity of onion, peppers and celery.
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 350 g of chorizo
- 200 g of pancetta or smoked bacon, streaky is good
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 sticks of celery, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 kg of sweet potatoes, chopped
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons of plain flour
- 4 bay leaves
- 1.5 litres of chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
- a small bunch of chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Getting started we need for the base of the roux which will be the fat from the chicken and other meats. Rub the cayenne, paprika and some salt and pepper all over the chicken. Pour some olive oil into a large pan and put on a high heat. Fry the chicken,chorizo and bacon until the chicken is brown 10 to 15 minutes should do it.
Remove the meat from the pan and set aside in a bowl. All the fat that's left in the pan is now going to be used to make that roux! Turn down the heat and add the pepper, onion and celery. Keep stirring them until they are nice and soft then add the flour. You need to get the roux to a nice caramel brown colour.
Add meats, the sweet potato, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and fry and stir for a miute or so then add the chicken stock (make sure its hot). Bring it to the boil and then simmer for an hour or so. Make sure you get the seasoning to your taste. Through in the chopped parsley before serving.
I served it on rice and removed the bones and skin, finishing off with the chopped spring onions.