This recipe was adapted from a traditional Louisiana Gumbo recipe. It has remained true to its soulful flavor and hearty nature. Always remember in cooking (not necessarily baking) there is room for variation. Feel free to add, subtract, or substitute ingredients here. This recipe serves as your blueprint- so if you are feeling wild, I encourage you to experiment. As long as you follow the basic guidelines, your gumbo will be fab!
You will need:
• 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 olive oil
• 6 oz Andouille sausage, diced –to distribute flavor
• 4 cups skinless turkey breast, pulled or chopped (Chicken breast will work just fine)
• 4 cups chopped onions
• 2 cups chopped celery
• 3 cups chopped green bell pepper
• 2 tablespoons Sea salt
• 2 tablespoons homemade Cajun blend (see recipe-or a store bought blend of your choice)
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• 1- 28oz can peeled plum tomatoes
• 2 bay leaves
• 1-10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and excesses liquid removed
• 10 cups low-sodium turkey or chicken stock, divided
• ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
• 3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
Begin by sautéing the onions, celery, bell, salt, and Cajun blend in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot on medium heat. Let these babies enjoy their steam bath, so don’t rush this process. We want them golden and translucent. This usually takes 25-30 minutes. At first glance, it may appear to be a large amount of veggies (that’s the point!), but it will actually cook down a great deal. Don’t skimp in this department. You will be amazed with the depth of flavor that the onions, celery, and peppers impart.
After the veggies are cooked to perfection, add the diced sausage and allow to brown nicely (about 10 minutes). The reason we want the sausage diced into smaller pieces is so there is more surface area to for each little pearl to impart as much essence as possible. Traditional gumbo recipes call for at least a pound of sausage, but honestly 6 ounces is plenty to give a deep smoky, sausagey flavor. Add the tomatoes, let simmer for 5 more minutes, and then transfer to a heat-resistant bowl.
Now for the sneaky part…Place the entire package of spinach in a blender with two cups of the stock. Blend until very smooth. Hold aside until you complete the next step-The Roux. This is the only thorny area in this recipe. In the same pot that the vegetable mixture was prepared in, whisk together the remaining olive oil and the whole wheat flour on medium-low heat. The idea is to cook that raw flour taste out, while adding both a rich nutty flavor and creating a thickening agent for the gumbo. This step can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the heat level, as temperatures vary greatly. You want the flour to darken significantly, but not burn. Do not walk away! This pot of gold can burn very easily, so sit tight and babysit. When the roux is as dark as it will get before burning, you have achieved perfection. Quickly whisk in the spinach puree, veggie-sausage mixture, and the turkey stock. Add turkey, bay leaves, and parsley, and allow pot to simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve each bowl of gumbo with ½ cup of brown rice, and enjoy!by