Heather Go To Comfort Dish, Good Earth Gumbolaya

This dish is one of my all time favorites. I use the recipe as a guide but I never follow it to the “T”. Everyone that has had the joy of eating it (Outside of Shawn who ate my seafood version … he doesn’t have much of an appetite for shrimp/scallops unless they are deep fried in Coconut) has loved every single bite! I serve it with a nice young Cote du Rhone.

I have to give the people at Food & Drink credit, I have every issue since the Spring 1999 issue, it’s one of my go to food magazine bibles.

Good Earth Gumbolaya (Food & Drink, Autumn 2009)

This dish is a combination of a gumbo and a jambalaya. The roux can be made ahead of time, days ahead in fact, and kept covered in the fridge until needed. In the Southern states, roux will cook for hours over the lowest of heat; which is traditionally what gives gumbo its dark colour and amazing flavour.

Roux

2½ tbsp (32 mL) sunflower or grape seed oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour

Gumbolaya

2 tbsp (25 mL) sunflower or grape seed oil
1½ cups (375 mL) diced onion
1½ cups (375 mL) diced celery
2½ cups (625 mL) diced red peppers
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped garlic
½ cup (125 mL) diced double smoked bacon
4 chicken thighs, bone in
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz (375 g) chorizo sausage or
smoked cured sausage, thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) clam juice
1 cup (250 mL) chopped canned or fresh tomatoes
8 fresh (or frozen) okra, sliced into 6 pieces
1 tsp (5 mL) cayenne pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) sweet paprika
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ cups (375 mL) basmati rice
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped flat Italian parsley

1. For Roux, heat oil in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir together. Continue to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the roux starts to darken in colour and take on a nutty smell. Remove from heat.

2. For Gumbolaya, heat oil in a large heavybottom pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, peppers, garlic and bacon and cook together, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Turn heat to high, push vegetables to the edges of pan and add chicken thighs, skin-side down. Add sausage and cook for 4 minutes or until chicken is beginning to brown. Add roux and incorporate well.

3. Add bay leaf, stock, clam juice, tomatoes, okra, cayenne, paprika and chili powder, season with salt and pepper. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to a medium-low and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pot and slice chicken meat from the bone. Discard bone and skin and return chicken to pot. At this point add in the rice. Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

4. Add in shrimp, cook for 2 more minutes, and remove from heat. Add parsley and check for seasoning, adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6 to 8

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