I cannot believe it is Christmas Eve today. Tomorrow is Christmas? How did that happen so quickly. Well I hope yall have your shopping done and have your groceries, but if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas meal that will warm you to your soul this is the recipe for you!
Now Justin is from the north and apparently they don’t have gumbo up there so when we got together and I started making it he wanted it everyday for a whole week. No joke. I make a huge pot and we just eat on it until it’s gone. It NEVER gets old. I don’t know why, because I can rarely eat the same thing more than 2 days in a row. So Justin loves it now and we have it every Christmas.
This Christmas, in particular, I’m very happy about this tradition because it is SUPER easy to make and I don’t have to be up early in the morning to start cooking. We literally got back from Park City, Utah 3 days ago and did I mention we sold our house, are currently packing, and have to move by December 29th? So yeah, I really need a simple meal this Christmas so I don’t go crazy yall!
So let’s talk about Gumbo, it’s a very personal thing. Some places put okra in it and swear it isn’t gumbo if you don’t. YUCK! I don’t like slimy okra in mine. The roux is a whole other issue. Making your roux is simple enough it just takes a lot of time and patience. Luckily they make roux you can buy and save time. Now some people think that buying your roux is against some type of gumbo rule, but if I’m in a hurry or I Just want it to be easy I buy a roux. All I’m saying is you may have to play around with this recipe to make it what you want.
If you decide to make your own roux all it is is a cup of flour and a cup of oil mixed together in a pan and cooked on the stove over low heat, about 30 minutes, while constantly stirring until it’s very dark BUT NOT BURNT. If you burn the roux you HAVE TO start over, otherwise your gumbo will be ruined. The roux is what turns the water/vegetable mixture into gumbo so it’s really important. One thing I do not like about making your own roux is that you’re adding so much oil to the gumbo. I don’t like super greasy gumbo, talk about heartburn city!
Now if you aren’t making your own roux there are plenty of roux options out there but I personally use this Gumbo Base. Make sure your roux is vegan, if your aren’t sure download Is it vegan? I love this app because it’s free and I don’t have to worry, just scan and go! I like the gumbo base version because it’s not greasy and has a good flavor.
That’s enough yammering on, let’s start cooking yall! One thing I LOVE about gumbo is the amount of vegetables. Mouth watering initiated!
As you can see you need a lot of green onion and celery. I put AT LEAST 2 bunches of green onions and 5 stalks of celery in to start. I adjust it as I go if I feel there needs to be more of one or the other. You’ll also notice you need sausage, which is entirely up to you on the brand. Just pick one you like. Typically we use Field Roast Frankfurters but our store was sold out so we went with Tofurky Beer Brats, which was good. You’ll also need a package of whatever kind of chick’n you like. I use Gardein Teriyaki Strips and just save the teriyaki package to use on something later.
In a big pot add water until about 2 inches from the top, then add the celery and green onion. Turn the heat up to high until it starts to boil, then reduce to medium-high and let it simmer until the vegetables are getting done. Next add in your sausage and let them cook while you get your roux going. If you’re making your roux see above and add that in now. If you aren’t making your roux and are using the gumbo base mentioned above you need to take a measuring cup that will hold about 4 cups of water, or use a bowl and remove 3 cups of water from the pot. Slowly add 1 package gumbo base while whisking. If it becomes too thick to stir, add more water. You can dump the roux back into the pot and then get more water from it if you run out of space in your bowl or measuring cup. Basically this helps it to become lumpy. Now depending on your pot size and how much water you have you may need to add more roux, but give it about 5 minutes to thicken up before doing that. If you accidentally add too much, add in more water. If you notice it’s still pretty watery go ahead and put a half bag more until it thickens up.
Now thickness is another personal thing about gumbo, some like it soupy and some want it practically like gravy. I try to go for somewhere in between that.
Once your roux is added and you like the thickness the last thing to do is add the chick’n. You want to break it apart some either by shredding it or cutting it into bite size pieces. You really don’t want the chick’n to cook too long or it will literally disintegrate, trust me I know by experience. It just disappears somewhere in there! Just heat it up, that’s all you need to do. Sometimes I just put the lid on, turn off the heat, and let it heat up that way.
That’s it yall! Your gumbo is ready to eat! We serve it over rice with crackers in our home.
- In a large pot add water until about 2 inches from brim. Chop celery and green onion and add to pot. Bring to boil over high heat and then reduce to medium-high heat. Cook vegetables until done and then add sliced sausage.
- While sausage cooks prepare roux by making yourself (see above) or use the gumbo base. If you make your own, simply whisk in now. If using gumbo base, in a bowl or large measuring cup take 3 cups of water from pot, whisk in gumbo base a little at a time. If it becomes too thick add more water. If you run out of room pour it back into the pot and get more water from the pot. Continue this until you have incorporated one package into the pot.
- If your gumbo becomes too thick, add more water to the pot. On the other hand, if it it too watery add 1/2 bag of roux at a time until desired consistency.
- Lastly, shred or cut your chick’n into bite size pieces. Remember to use just the chick’n from the package and not the teriyaki sauce. Add chick’n to gumbo and cook until the chick’n is warmed over low heat. You can also just put the lid on the pot, turn off the heat, and let it heat up that way.
- Serve over rice with crackers and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this Christmas family favorite, contact me with any questions. Don’t forget to follow me to stay up to date on my posts and get new recipes!