I have always loved cajun/creole food, and I have also always thought that my crock pot was sadly under-utilized.  One lovely lazy Sunday a few weeks back, I decided I wanted to remedy both situations, and I was also seriously craving some gumbo, so I took to the internet to try to remedy my dilemma.

The best recipe I found was here at allrecipes: Slow Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo But of course, me being me, I changed things up a bit.  I also didn’t measure anything, as I rather prefer to just work in even units, so I ended up with WAY more gumbo than the original recipe.  Which of course was fine by me; we got to eat delicious gumbo all week long!

The goods:

1 large yellow or vidalia onion (I like vidalias for their sweetness), diced

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 bunch celery heart, trimmed and diced

1 bag frozen sliced okra (I think it was somewhere around 1 pound? This is actually probably too much okra, but I really love okra)

3 large tomatoes (beefsteak or vine ripe, whichever you prefer), diced

1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (I’m lazy and buy my garlic pre-minced in jars, but if you’re more motivated just mince up a small handful)

1 lb chicken (I prefer dark meat for this application but breast meat is fine), diced

1 lb sausage (classically I suppose you would use andouille but I’m not a big fan myself so I use regular old kielbasa), diced

1 stick butter

all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)

salt and pepper, to taste

cayenne pepper (or your favorite hot pepper relish) to taste

Somewhere around 10 cups of chicken broth (I think… this part I just eyeballed)

The method:

– Get your veggies (except for the okra) and meats diced and into your crock pot (on LOW).  For cleanliness and sanitary purposes, I dice the veggies first, then the sausage, and then the chicken, then can put the knife and cutting board in the sink to wash and not have to worry about chicken germs getting where they shouldn’t.

–  Pour in your broth until it just covers your happy pile of food.

–  Get your brick roux made.  Melt your stick of butter, and stir/whisk in the flour.  It should be the consistency of like… loose paste.  Cook on low/medium low, whisking constantly, until your roux is a nice reddish brown. This will take at least ten minutes.  Probably more.  It’s worth it.  Also, please don’t burn your roux.

– Add your roux to the crock pot, stir everything together, and walk away.

– Cook for 6ish hours.  Add your bag of okra, season with salt/pepper/cayenne to taste and cook for another hour.

The smells will be amazing, and you will nearly go crazy waiting for it to finish cooking, if you’re like me.  After 7 hours (but 8 is even better) you will have this amazing, spicy, thick, lovely stew, and … yeah.  Just try it.

Serve over white rice.  Eat some, package some up, freeze some… You’ll have a ton of gumbo (it filled my crock just about to the brim) but you know what?  You won’t regret it.