For non-Halal option, chicken can be replaced by pork loin.
Preparing the vegetables for the Gumbo:
Chop the yellow onions, capsicum and celery - combine in a bowl to be added once the roux is finished. Also chop the garlic and green onions and keep in separate bowl as will be added towards the end.
Preparing the meat and seafood for the Gumbo:
Chop the chicken, sausage and shrimp in bite size pieces and keep each item in separate bowl, as they will be added to the gumbo at different times. Use 1 Tbsp. of Cajun Blend to season the chicken and shrimp.
Now that your vegetables and meat are prepared it is time to make the roux. The most important step in making a good Gumbo is the roux, which is the base.
Pre-heat a soup pot with a thick bottom (to maintain consistent heat) on medium heat.
Add the oil to the pot and wait for the oil to heat up.
Once the oil is hot, add all the flour and mix the oil and flour together to form a uniform paste (see image 2).
For the next 30-45 minutes, stir the oil-flour mixture continuously (do not stop stirring) with a wooden spoon. This is a very important 30-45 minute process and continue stirring until the roux has a rich brown color similar to milk chocolate (see image 3).
Note: During this process of making the roux a dark brown color, you may see smoke coming from the pot if the mixture gets too hot – if you see this, immediately take the pot off the fire, set aside and continue to stir. This is ok and you may have to repeat this step, as the roux gets darker. The darker the roux becomes the more rich it will be, but have to make sure it does not burn, otherwise you will have to start all over.
Finishing the Gumbo:
Once the roux is a chocolate color, add the yellow onions, capsicum and celery. Let the vegetables cook in the roux for 5-10 minutes so the vegetables will start to sweat.
Now you are ready to add the 4 cups of chicken stock, sausage, garlic, bay leaves and 3 Tbsp. Cajun Blend.
Bring this mixture to a boil, cover and then simmer for 1 hour checking it regularly to ensure the roux does not stick to the bottom of the pot. You may also need to add more stock if the mixture becomes too thick – the mixture should look similar (see image 4).
After cooking the mixture for an hour, you can now add the chicken.
Cook the chicken in the mixture for 30 minutes or until chicken thoroughly cooked.
Once the chicken is cooked, add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes.
Turn off the fire and add the green onions and parsley. If you are able to find Gumbo file’, you can add this as well at this time.
Taste the gumbo and adjust with salt and spice (couple shakes of Tabasco) for your taste.
Your gumbo is now cooked and ready to be served over rice.
Final addition of Cajun Blend seasoning, salt and Tabasco for your taste and spice preference.
This is an easy recipe once you have cooked it a few times and can be adjusted per your preference in meats and seafood.
Serves 4-6 people and just adjust recipe for more servings.