Gumbo

From Cook's Country | August/September 2010

Why this recipe works:

We created a relatively hands-off roux for our Gumbo by toasting the flour on the stovetop, adding the oil, and finishing the roux in the oven. For the soup base, we started by making our own shrimp stock, but the process was tedious and time-consuming. Instead, we switched to store-bought… read more

We created a relatively hands-off roux for our Gumbo by toasting the flour on the stovetop, adding the oil, and finishing the roux in the oven. For the soup base, we started by making our own shrimp stock, but the process was tedious and time-consuming. Instead, we switched to store-bought chicken broth fortified with fish sauce.

Tasters preferred dark-meat chicken thighs to breasts because the thighs had more flavor. When it came to tomatoes and okra, tasters either loved ’em or loathed ’em in our Gumbo. We included both on the “more is more" theory.

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Serves 6 to 8

This recipe is engineered for efficiency: Get the roux in the oven and then prep the remaining ingredients. A heavy, cast-iron Dutch oven yields the fastest oven roux. If a lightweight pot is all you’ve got, increase the oven time by 10 minutes. The chicken broth must be at room temperature to prevent lumps from forming. Fish sauce lends an essential savory quality. It’s sold in most grocery stores in the section with the Asian seasonings; if you can’t find it, see the box at bottom right for substitution information. Since the salt content of fish sauce varies among brands, taste the finished gumbo before seasoning with salt.

Ingredients

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