Louisiana Filé Gumbo
This hearty gumbo is a flavorful marriage between both rustic Cajun and colorful Creole ingredients and seasonings.
Ingredientsnon-aerosol olive oil or other vegetable cooking spray
2 tbsp. plus 1/2 cup unbleached white or whole-wheat flour
1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut in to 1-inch pieces
1 package reduced-fat chicken or turkey Andouille * sausage, sliced
1 lb. medium-large shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.) – optional
1 to 2 tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning * (adjust heat to your preference)
1 tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dry
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. filé powder *
2 medium onions, chopped (3 cups)
4 to 5 celery ribs including leaves, sliced or chopped
3 bell peppers, 2 red and 1 green, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 28-oz. can whole or chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. reduced-sodium chicken soup base mixed with 4 cups water 2 cups (12 oz.) okra, fresh or frozen, thawed and sliced – optional
6 cups brown or white rice, cooked without butter or salt
1. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss evenly with two tablespoons flour. Using two bowls, mix seasoning choice with thyme and bay leaves, then mix the filé powder with the 1/2 cup flour.
2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium. Add sausage, brown both sides lightly, and set aside.
3. Spray a large Dutch oven or pot with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add chicken, turning pieces over after the flour has left a golden-brown glaze on the pan’s surface. Remove chicken from pan, cover, and set aside. Add onions through garlic. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the moisture from the vegetables has deglazed the pan. Stir every few minutes to keep vegetables from sticking. Add tomatoes, including juice.
4. Stirring, mix flour/filé into vegetables in small amounts. Add seasonings and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in chicken broth and bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 to 60 minutes, stirring often.
5. Increase heat to medium-high add chicken, sausage, and okra. Stirring, cook until simmering. Stir in shrimp and cook until firm and pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings, and serve over hot rice.
NutritionNutrition Facts: 232 to 250 calories; 5.5 grams total fat; 92 milligrams cholesterol; 15 grams carbohydrate; 2.6 grams dietary fiber; 30 grams protein; 1000 milligrams sodium
1 cup brown rice steamed without butter or salt contains 170 calories; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrate; 0 dietary fiber; 4 grams protein, 0 sodium.
Traditional Nutrition Facts: 940 calories; 42g fat; 92g carbohydrate; 10g fiber; 50g protein; 175mg cholesterol; 1828mg sodium
*Filé powder also known as gumbo file, is a powder ground from sassafras leaves used in Cajun and Créole cooking to thicken soups and stews. Filé powder can be found in the spice section of the grocery store.
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