Radio Recipe

For all those Packer fans who tuned into the radio program from WCUB in Manitowoc, WI. this am-Here’s that recipe!

Me oh my oh, filé gumbo

On a cool winter’s eve, few things can be quite as satisfying as a hot bowl of traditional filé gumbo. While these favorites from N’Awlins are renowned for their deep flavor, they are not often on the top ten of healthy choices. Here we apply several of our Grassroots Gourmet principles to transform this into a more healthful version-with no sacrifice in flavor.

  • Get Fresh-The chicken we use is from free range organic birds, free from additives, hormones and a questionable raising procedure. Buying your own free rang organic chicken and breaking it down can actually be cheaper than buying processed chicken parts individually-plus you get the carcasses for stock. A video on how to break down the birds is available at www.whatscookingwithdoc.com. Here we used the thigh and leg meat. We got fresh Andouille sausages which eliminated nitrates and other preservatives. The shrimp was fresh; avoid the previously frozen offering from who knows where.
  • Be on Time and In Proportion: Make the serving a little heavier on the rice and limit to 6 ounces of gumbo (a hearty serving). Take your time and enjoy the subtle, profoundly rich flavors and you’ll satisfied (with a smaller bowl).
  • In addition to the above, for this recipe we made a few changes. Many traditional gumbo recipes call for 1:1:1 proportion of sausage, chicken and shrimp. Since the sausage cooks with the roux the longest, and strongly flavors the dish, we reduced the amount by half; with no impact on overall flavor. We added the protein serving back in the form of extra shrimp, as this is the lowest fat choice of the three protein components in the gumbo. We also replaced the traditional polished rice with a serving of brown and red rice with rye and barley (Rice Select Royal Blend Whole Grain). This added a fantastic subtle nutty flavor to the earthy gumbo- and a whole grain serving as well.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • ½  pound Andouille sausage, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • 1 Tbs hot sauce
  • 1Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 pounds shrimp, deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder

Directions

Combine the butter, oil and flour in a Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Stir constantly for about 30 minutes to make a dark brown roux. It should be the color of chocolate. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and bay leaves. Continue to stir for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and water. Mix until the liquids are combined. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. Add the chicken and continue to simmer for another ninety minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. While the gumbo cooks, skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, green onions, and filé powder. Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls on cooked rice.

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