Notes: A food processor makes easy work of chopping the veggies. Make sure to check and stir the roux frequently so as not to let it burn. Take care as it will be quite hot. It will cook and darken in the center first, so stirring will help it to brown evenly. A dark peanut butter colored roux will work, but if you continue to cook it to a chocolate color, it will add even more deep flavor to the gumbo. Just be careful not to burn it. The beer adds depth and a bit of bitterness. It can be swapped out for chicken broth. Smoked paprika adds depth of flavor to sausage-free gumbo. Sausage can be added if desired.
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- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 12 ounces (1 can) ale (or substitute more low sodium chicken broth)
- 8 ounces fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 4 to 6 cups cooked rice to serve on the side
- hot sauce to serve on the side
Pulse onion, peppers, and celery in food processor until coarse chopped (don't purée). Add oil to Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add chopped vegetables, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened and are beginning to turn golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, make the roux: Place flour and butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat on high power until butter is just melted, about 1 minute. Stir to combine and continue to microwave, stirring every minute, until roux is a uniform color of deep milk chocolate, 8 to 10 minutes (see note above); set aside.
When vegetables have cooked, stir in garlic, tomato paste, cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in roux.
Slowly stir in chicken broth and beer until mixture has thickened. Stir in okra, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to simmer. Cover and simmer (adjusting heat if necessary) until okra is softened and chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste, serve with rice, season with hot sauce, and garnish with green onions.