I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to traditional “Cajun” cuisine. You would think it would be more of a love/love due to the very fact that I go weak at the knees for some good heat and well seasoned food. But there’s something, I just can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, that steers me in a negative direction.
So today I’m going to have a crack at some good ol’ fashioned Cajun gumbo. I wouldn’t consider this to be your traditional gumbo, however it definitely still packs some light heat and smoky flavor. Chumbo. That’s probably a better name for it. Chili Gumbo. Looks like chili, tastes like gumbo.
The best part about this chumbo is that you really can use any combination of meat/sausage/seafood mixture that you have handy. Everything but the kitchen sink type of dish. So I figured why not make it work for the day after Thanksgiving…. with all of that leftover turkey meat I wanted to avoid the whole “stuff every single side including dessert between two slices of bread” deal. I wanted a new flavor of excitement to add to the holidays and something new to look forward to. Traditions have to start somewhere, and there’s no better time than the present.
The dish overall is fairly easy to create however it does need your attention. The only real hands on part is making the roux (a mixture of heated fat & flour that is used for making sauces). What you don’t want to do is burn the roux or else you will have to start all over again. Just give it a little stirring swirl every minute or two while you are cleaning the kitchen sipping on a mimosa or
chugging sampling your bloody mary and you should be in the clear.
Traditional gumbo is usually served with a scoop of rice on top…. so for the rice pairing…… I favor sushi rice……….. I mean…… there really isn’t a better substitute. We all know American rice is the worst ranking and brown rice is basically dirt so I like to pretend that it is never an option. My second favorite is basamiti followed by jasmine. I GUESS you can use whatever kind you have on hand, however if someone served me a bowl of gumbo paired with either of the two crapshoots I mentioned above I more than likely would blow raspberries at them (mouth full).
I’m also a child.
- 1 lb ground chorizo
- 3 cups of turkey meat (cut into 1" chunks)
- 4 cups meat stock (whatever you have)
- 14.5 oz can diced tomato
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cups cooked rice (or however much you want, follow directions on package)
- In a large pot over medium heat add your chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour out as much fat as you can (being careful not to let any of the meat fall out) Place pot back on heat and add a tbsp of butter.
- Next add your onions, bell pepper, celery & garlic. Cook until chorizo is browned and onion is translucent.
- Add your meat stock, bring to a boil. Add diced tomatoes, worcestershire sauce and all of your spices.. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add your leftover turkey meat.
- While gumbo is simmering you'll prepare the roux. In a large pan (a 12" skillet or bigger will do) add your flour and oil over medium heat. Stirring constantly about every minute or two until mixture turns into a caramel color (the darker the thicker the Gumbo will be) This will take about 25 minutes. Remove roux from heat and slowly pour it into the Gumbo and mix.
- Serve over rice, or in a soup bowl with a scoop of rice on top (like I did).