An English Gumbo To Die For
by Craig Nicholl & Katy Luck
A beautiful pot of English gumbo ready for the eating!
Here is what you need
Eight chicken pieces (legs, thighs, etc)
Cooking bacon about 150g (5 ounces)(Smoked would be good)
Four pieces of celery
Three peppers red, yellow whatever
Okra about 300g (11-12 ounces)
2 Chilli’s red or green its not that important
1 Tablespoon of chilli sauce
Garlic a full bulb (I like garlic OK)
Hand full of Parsley
Grated Lemon Rind
Spice mix Craig's Style
1/2 teaspoon of crushed green pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the roux
150g of plain flour (5 ounces or 10 tablespoons)
60g of duck fat (2-3 ounces or 4-6 tablespoons)
30g of butter (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons)
A strong arm and patience
Firstly prep all veggies cut in a lazy rustic style, make sure to remove all the seeds from the chillis.
Heat some oil in the same dish you are going to use for the cooking. (I use a huge Le Creuset which is excellent) Now brown off all the chicken pieces and remove from dish and set aside. Next add the Bacon and repeat, you should see some colour on the bottom of the dish this is important.
Right for the roux this is hard work but crucial to the whole dish. In America you can buy ready made but let’s face it in the states you can buy ready mixed scrambled eggs which says it all. Firstly melt the fat and butter over a high heat and then pour in the flour and stir rapidly with a wooden spatula. It will form a dough but keep working it hard until the mixture breaks down into a wet paste. Now reduce the heat and keep working it until it turns to a milk chocolate colour. This could take up to forty minutes. I find it is handy to have a cold beer in the opposite hand to keep you going.
Now pour all the veggies except the okra into the pan in cook off for 5-10 minutes. Then add the chicken and bacon. Pour in 2 litres (2 1/4 quarts) of boiling water and then stir making sure you combine the roux well. Add the spice mix, chilli sauce and okra and again combine. Now bring up to the boil and then reduce to a steady simmer for at least 2hrs. If it starts to thicken then add more water during the cooking.
Serve up in large bowls and sprinkle with a fresh gremolata (this is the herb blend of garlic, parsley and grated lemon rind). This will feed 4 people for a hearty meal. Enjoy!!!!