Gumbo is something special. Every family along the Gulf Coast has their favorite, and it’s usually a family recipe, handed down through several generations.
I may be biased, but I’m here to tell you that the Davis-Miele gumbo truly is the best in Alabama.
If Mark’s spaghetti and meatballs (which I promise to share soon) won my heart, and his red beans and rice led to our marriage, then it’s his gumbo that keeps us together.
The recipe actually comes from my paternal grandmother, with a few tweaks and adaptations to make it our own.
It’s funny; as a child, I never ate gumbo. Although my dad always looked forward to his mother’s gumbo, I turned up my nose at it. It looked like pond water! Now, though, I’m glad my tastes have broadened, and I’m grateful for the memories spent with my grandparents, even if I missed out on sharing a good bowl of gumbo with them.
The Best Gumbo in Alabama
serves…oh, probably an army
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 96 ounces liquid (we used 48 ounces of low-sodium chicken stock, 48 of water)
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen okra (or fresh)
- 3 Tbsp Creole seasoning
- ½ capful of Crab Boil
- several splashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
- a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 12 ounces to 1 lb andouille sausage, chopped
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
- In a large stock pot, sauté the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until translucent.
- In a small sauce pan on low-to-medium heat, combine the oil and flour, stirring constantly for about 20-30 minutes. This may vary depending on temperature. Keep an eye on the mixture. Once it’s just lighter than you’d like, turn off the heat. Continue stirring, as the hot oil will continue to darken the flour. Set aside.
- To the stock pot, add the diced tomatoes, stock/water mixture, spices, chicken, and sausage. Allow to boil a few minutes, to soften the vegetables even further.
- Now, let the gumbo do its thing! Allow to simmer over low-to-medium heat for about an hour.
- Add the cooled roux to the stock pot. Be sure to let the roux cool! Adding hot roux to hot liquid will cause insane splashing! Simmer over low-to-medium heat for several hours, stirring occasionally. Enjoy the aroma wafting through your entire home!
- Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add the shrimp, cooking until pink.
- Serve gumbo over rice with a piece of baguette for sopping up the delicious juices.
It’s all about the roux, friends. I like mine deep and dark, but be careful not to burn it! Adjust the Tabasco and Creole seasoning to taste, but I promise it’s better with a nice kick to it. If, however, your gumbo is too spicy, feel free to add more liquid to tone it down. Just allow to cook a bit longer.
What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in the South than with a big batch of gumbo on the stovetop and Saints football on the TV?
Who Dat?!! (Not the dirty birds…)