In our family, we love to share meals with friends. On a nice day, we pull-out the 8-foot table out of the garage, and drag it to the back porch. We take all the available chairs from inside the house, turn up the music, load the tub with beer and soda, and with both arms carry bottles of wine to the table. For this meal we also pulled out the biggest pot in our kitchen and prepared gumbo for a crowd.
Over the years, I have experimented with several gumbo recipes. This year, I made a signature gumbo recipe from a New Orleans landmark restaurant called Mister B’s Bistro, located in the French Quarter. My understanding is that this Gumbo Ya-Ya recipe is the best selling dish on the menu. If time is an issue, this recipe is not for you. This recipe takes patience to prepare, but it is worth the effort and will feed a crowd. The dark golden roux easily took me an hour hanging over a 12 quart stockpot, stirring constantly.
Note: My photo does not give justice to the golden brown roux as I photographed the gumbo served over rice…Just let your imagination take hold at this moment.
The recipe was taken from a cookbook called New Orleans Classic Gumbos and Soups by Kit Wohl. This cookbook was featured in Gourmet’s Cook Book Club. I purchased an extra copy of this cookbook to give away. If you are interested in a chance to win this book, just leave me a comment that indicates that you are interested. I will select a winner no later than March 23, 2010.
Without further delay, the recipe for crowd pleasing Gumbo Ya-Ya.
Serves a crowd
Recipe from Mister B’s Bistro, New Orleans
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 medium onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1-1/4 gallons (20 cups) chicken stock
1 pound andouille* sausage, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning- store bought or homemade
2 tablespoons kosher salt or sea salt plus additional to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper chili flakes
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1- 3-1/2 pound chicken, roasted and boned
hot sauce to tatse
boiled or steamed rice
*Any good quality pork sausage, such as kielbasa, may be substituted.
Begin by making a dark roux. In a 12-quart stockpot melt the butter over low heat. Gradually add 1 cup of the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, and continue cooking, stirring for 30 seconds. Add 1 more cup of flour and stir an additional 30 seconds. Add remaining cup flour and stir for another 30 seconds. Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it is the color of dark mahogany, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Add the red and green bell peppers to the roux and stir for 30 seconds. Add the onions and celery stirring for 30 seconds. Gradually add stock to the roux, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Add the andouille sausage, Creole seasoning, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chile powder, thyme, garlic and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Simmer gumbo, uncovered for 45 minutes, skimming off any fat. Stir occasionally.
Add chicken meat. Simmer 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and hot sauce.
Serve over rice.