As I usually do when making my monthly menus, I asked J if he had any requests. This time around he requested Gumbo. Hmm…interesting request. And something I’ve never made (or eaten) before, so I set out searching for a recipe. It seemed that all the “traditional” gumbo recipes were a bit time-consuming and since this would be my first time to make it, I thought it might be better to start with a little less-complicated recipe. I ran a couple of recipe options by J and we decided on this one, which is a Jambalaya-style gumbo…most of the ingredients you’ll find in gumbo (spicy sausage, chicken, and shrimp…perfect protein trio for my meat-loving man), but with a less labor-intensive Jambalaya type of sauce. No roux that takes foreeevvvver to make. Some day I’ll try it, but it wasn’t happening for my first attempt.
You may remember that I mentioned awhile back that J shot a deer and that we have a ton of smoked venison sausage in our freezer. Well, it just so happened that I already had this recipe on the menu when the sausage was ready and J went to pick it up, so I threw the spicy sausage I’d bought in the freezer and used the spicy venison sausage in it’s place. This was actually the first recipe I used the venison in!
The picture doesn’t do it justice, but this gumbo has a thick, delicious sauce and the flavors are spicy and amazing. The only thing J said was that he wished it there had been more deer sausage…ha! It was really good over brown rice and it made plenty for dinner and a few servings of leftovers for both of us.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb spicy smoked venison (or other smoked) sausage, sliced
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp Creole seasoning
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ lb okra, sliced into ½” thick slices
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 cups chicken stock, hot
- ½ lb peeled and cleaned, raw medium size shrimp
- 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes. Remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside with the sausage.
- Next, add the garlic to the pot and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine.
- Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute, then add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken. Stir to combine.
- Simmer gently on medium-low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add in the shrimp and simmer for just about 2 minutes more, so you don’t overcook the shrimp.
- Finally, stir in the chopped parsley and cilantro.
- Serve over the rice, with a dash or two of hot pepper sauce for some added heat!