Freezer surprise, no Dungeness crab bodies! I was absolutely certain that I had a large bag of crab bodies with legs and, months ago, decided I would make gumbo sometime during the season’s family celebrations. I was disappointed; both that there was no crab and that there will be no celebrations for our family this year.
It’s not absolutely necessary to make gumbo with crab, although preferable in our family. I had chicken, andouille sausages and shrimp, enough to make an adequate and tasty gumbo.
Part one of making the gumbo is to cut up the chicken, season it with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning or Emeril’s essence and then brown in a cup of vegetable oil. Remove the chicken to a stock pot with celery, bay leaf, carrots and onions. Boil with water to make a stock.
After removing the browned chicken, add the sliced sausage to the pan and cook until brown. Reserve the oil.
When the chicken has cooled, remove and discard bones and skin, then shred or chop the chicken. Reserve the stock and set the chicken aside with the sausage.
Remove the thawed shrimp from the refrigerator and out to drain.
Now for Part 2, the roux. Reheat the reserved oil, stir in the flour on medium heat and continue to stir until the mixture is dark brown. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until soft. Slowly add the reserved broth, stirring constantly until smooth.
1 whole chicken, cut into parts
Salt and pepper
Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, quartered
2 celery branches, quartered
2 carrots quartered
3 bay leaves
1 quart of water
2 pkgs D’Artagnan andouille sausages, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 celery branches, sliced
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tbsp gumbo file
1 cup flour
2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp gumbo file
Season the chicken parts with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning. Brown the chicken in the oil, then place in a stock pot along with the quartered onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves and water, reserving browning oil. Bring the stock pot to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables and reserve broth. When the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and bones then shred or chop into pieces and set aside.
Brown the andouille slices in the reserved oil, remove and set aside. Add the chopped onions, bell pepper, sliced celery and chopped garlic to the oil and saute until tender. Stir in 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning, 1 tbsp gumbo file and the cup of flour. Cook and brown until the flour is a chocolate color. Slowly stir in the reserved broth and cook on low until the sauce is smooth and homogenous. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir the roux into the stock pot along with the reserved chicken and sausages. Cook for about 20 minutes on simmer. Finally add the shrimp and 1 tbsp of gumbo file and stir around for 3 minutes. Remove from flame and serve with rice and scallions.