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San Clemente Journal

Iva Lee's Gumbo Recipe

Apr 03, 2014 10:32AM ● By Don Kindred
Gumbo has been called the greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens to American cuisine

When the first French settlers came to Louisiana, they brought their love for bouillabaisse, a highly seasoned fish stew. Having none of the usual ingredients necessary to make a typical French bouillabaisse, they substituted local ingredients. After about a century, with the Spanish, Africans, and Natives of the region offering their contributions of food, the stew was no longer recognizable as bouillabaisse and became gumbo. What started out as second best became better than the original.

The word gumbo is derived from African words for okra (guingombo, tchingombo, and kingombo), a pod-like vegetable introduced by African slaves and often used to thicken the stew. Gumbo is a classic Cajun one pot, communal stew that is especially important around Mardi Gras (the Mardi Gras season officially begins twelve days after Christmas, on January 6, and culminates on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent).

Roux Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter
- Melt the butter and add flour, cook over medium heat, stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, to make a dark roux. (the color of dark chocolate).

White Rice Ingredients:
2 cups long-grain white rice
4 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 each bay leaf
- Combine the rice, water, butter, salt, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat, Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork, discard bay leaf.

Gumbo Ingredients: 
1 pound Jacob’s world Andouille sausage, cut crosswise l/2-inch thick pieces
3 pounds chicken breast, roasted with Creole seasoning, and diced when chicken is done cooking
1 pound of crawfish tail meat
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup okra cut in half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 each bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups beefstock
1/2 cup chopped green onion 

- In a large pot add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and heat over medium heat.
Add sliced sausage, yellow onions, celery, red bell pepper, salt and pepper, and all other spices. Let the ingredients cook until wilted. Add the dark roux stirring into the vegetable mix. Add the chicken and beef stock then bring mix to a boil stirring slowly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the diced chicken and crawfish meat, cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for I hour.
To Serve:- Place white rice on bottom of bowl and spoon gumbo over the top. Garnish with chopped green onions.