There's a variety of ingredients that can be used in this okra stew. The only essential one is probably okra (I use two pounds of the cut frozen variety in this recipe). In this example, I'll be preparing a chicken okra stew, but feel free to experiment with seafood (like oysters and crab or shrimp) or a vegetarian (stir-fried eggplant is fun to try) version. Start by preparing two pounds of chicken breast (about one whole breast) into rough 1/2 in. cubes. Also rough cut two green bell peppers and three ribs of celery, and finely chop one bunch of scallions (about 3/4 cup). Not show here, I also cut two medium onions into 1 in. pieces. (My eyes were watering, so I plastic wrapped the bowl and set it aside - forgetting to photograph it.)
Next, cut one pound smoked sausage such as andouille or kielbasa into bite size pieces. Make sure you use Cajun andouille, not French (which is made of tripe and usually is not smoked and is not spicy). Apply 1 Tbs. oil to a pan and heat. Over gentle heat, brown the sausage. The sausage should have enough oil so the pan doesn't dry up while cooking. (If not, add a little more oil.)
Meanwhile, pour 4 14 oz. cans of low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth into a large pot. Then add eight cups of water, cover, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Hopefully, the broth is boiling at this point. (If not, use this opportunity to saute the okra until golden. Saute the celery as well if the broth isn't boiling yet.) Pour the chopped okra into the broth along with the sauteed onions, bell peppers, and celery. When the mixture begins to boil again, add the chicken and bring the heat down to maintain a simmer. Stirring occasionally, simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. (The sausage can be added at this point if you don't like salty sausage. The flavor will infuse into the soup. Adding the sausage later will maintain more of the flavor concentrated in the sausage and less spread out in the soup.)
After the soup has thickened (it should form strings when poured slowly from a ladle) and the chicken cooked, add the finely chopped scallions with the sausage. Salt and pepper to taste and simmer for five additional minutes.
The final okra stew is served great over rice, but (if seasoned with a light hand) is also an excellent soup for cold winter days. Adding hot sauce or ground chile to the broth is a great way to spice up this dish.}?>
Okra Stew (makes about six quarts or 5.5 L)
|1 lb. (450 g) smoked sausage||cut||saute||simmer 5 min.|
|2 lb. (900 g) chicken breast||cube||saute||simmer 30 min.|
|2 medium onions||chop||saute|
|2 lb. okra||chop||saute|
|3 celery ribs||chop||saute|
|2 medium bell peppers||chop|
|56 oz. to 64 oz. (1.9 L) chicken broth||boil|
|8 cups (1.9 L) water|
|3/4 cup (75 g) scallions||finely chop|
Actually, I will probably substitute those great chicken sausages that I get at Costco and engineer out some of the fat when I make it.
Do that fast roux, ya gotta have a roux in there. That'll change the dynamics of yer food right there. Deelightful. Here's my attempt:
Take the normal porportions you would use of butter and flour, Mix well in a large pyrex messuring cup and microwave in 30 second bursts until you get the desired color. I usually bring mine up to a brick-red to dark brown color. It takes about 4 minutes in my micro wave. I cannot tell the difference between this and something I made on the stove top.
Maybe I'm just too skeptical, but microwaved roux? No thank you.
On topic: I like the recipe, despite my loathing of okra. And I'm glad I found this site.
In traditional gumbo, the roux is used more for flavor than for thickening power. The darker the roux (the longer you cook it), the more flavor it has, but by the time it's a deep mohagony, it doesn't have much in the way of thickening power. That role is given to the okra or the file powder.
It depends on what your taste is and/or what you're preparing.
I can offer a wonderful resource from somone born & raised in NOLA, if that helps anyone. I've done a handful of his recipes and read many more than that. His recipes are spot on, for the most part.
Chuck Taggart's Gumbo Pages
By the way, the microwave roux has the same depth and nutty flavor as anything I've made in the more traditional ways. Control is no problem: simply adjust the power level once you begin to reach the desired color.
carla lynne hall aka mama soul
The local grocery stores carry 'gumbo crabs', split and ready to go in the pot. In my estimation, there is nothing better than a good seafood gumbo.
Everyone I talk to down here says 'ta make a good gumbo, ya gotta start with a good roux'. I use equal parts oil and flour, and simmer until mahogany, and smells nutty. Lightly scorched, actually.
Once the roux cools, add stock or water, and bring up to simmer- add in the gumbo craps, the trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery), and whatever-the-hell-else you want to put in there.
As for the Okra, common wisdom down here says, get fresh okra, and saute in a seperate pan before adding to the pot. that way, it won't get all slimy...
I added about 2/3 of the browned sausage at the start of the simmer process and the last 1/3 about 5 or 10 minutes prior to serving. This resulted in a not-too-salty taste but one that still had nice aromas from the long-simmered sausage pieces.
At the end of the simmering process I found the end result to be thinner than what I wanted (still very water-like). I used a "quick roux substitute" method I'd read about on another cooking website for cajun dishes which was to brown all-purpose flour in a skillet over medium heat until the flour was a nice amber color (light brown). For this recipe I used about 1/2 cup of flour which I added to the gumbo in two steps by dissolving the flour into just enough cold water to make a batter-like mix. Another few minutes of cooking the gumbo at a low boil cooked the "faux roux" enough to thicken and develop the taste. Perhaps next time I'll add more okra up front to minimize the need for thickening with flour (I had weighed-out the correct amount of okra prior to addition).
The end result was very delicious. I've had lots of gumbo dishes throughout the gulf coast region and this one holds its own with most of the better ones and is much better than many. I used Hillshire Farms smoked sausage for my gumbo and cut it into a 1/2 inch dice before sauteing. The okra was fresh picked from my garden.
Also, save some of the trinity (celery onion and bell pepper) to be add uncooked toward the end of the cooking process for a crisp and colorful surprise.
Lastly the original recipe was to make QUICK Okra Soup not create a true Gumbo which takes time. The words quick and Gumbo probably should not be used in the same sentence.