A secret to making Louisiana's most famous dish is using flavorful gumbo stocks.
This is the broth left after cooking meat and vegetables in a large pot of water. No canned stuff or plain water in your creations.
They are easy and fast to make and will take your gumbo eating experience to new highs. Trust me this is easy and not precise at all.
A chicken gumbo will be considerably better when using a stock. And it is inexpensive since you can use chicken parts like legs or thighs or even necks if you can find them.
If you want to make a spicy gumbo just add some red pepper to your stock pot.
In a large pot add 3-4 quarts of water.
2 pounds Chicken parts like legs, thighs, wings etc. Or one whole chicken. Raw not cooked.
Two onions quartered.
4 stalks of celery quartered
3 carrots quartered
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 whole peppercorns
2 cups white cooking wine (optional)
1 cup smoked sausage
Bring this to a boil then turn heat to low, cover and allow to cook for about 2-3 hours. Longer is better because it takes some time to extract the full flavors from the bones. This is another secret to fabulous gumbos. Extracting that wonderful flavor from the bones adds more richness and great depth while boosting the character of your gumbo.
Strain and discard all cooked meat and veggies. Reserve stock until you are ready to make gumbo.
Of all the secrets and techniques I have learned over the years this is one of the most important. Take the time to make this wonderful broth. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate. Store it in your freezer and it will keep for months. At any given time I have several containers of frozen stock just waiting for my next creation.
One more tip. To really intensify and electrify the flavor of
your Cajun soup add some smoked meat to your gumbo stock ingredients.
Don't have smoked meat? Then go any barbecue restaurant and buy a smoked
chicken without the sauce. You can also find smoked turkey, smoked ham hocks or smoked chicken in your grocers frozen section.
More stock recipes