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Gumbo | Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood

“I hate those old alligators,” Caro says, then looks in the direction of the bayou.

“Uh,” Necie says. “Yall don’t think there are any alligators in this bayou, do you?”

“Maman put a gris-gris on all the alligators behind our house,” Teensy says. “We don’t have to worry. Maman is the one who gave us our name! She’s the one always saying, ‘Gumbo Ya-Ya, gumbo ya-ya!’ ”

-Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells

 Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is favourite with book clubs, so when you have your book club night, bring along a pot of gumbo to make the night authentic.

I’m a terrible evening cook. Ask me to make something in the morning or lunchtime? Not a problem. But come 6 pm, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or stove.

And in summertime when it’s still 35C+? Forgetaboutit. Which makes me pretty certain the slow cooker was made with me specifically in mind.  I still love eating hot food in summer… I just don’t want to be cooking over a stove when it’s hot.

This gumbo recipe can be started at 10am (start your prepping much earlier if it really is summer you’re cooking in), put on low in a slow cooker, and be ready for about 5-6pm. Don’t let the number of ingredients put you off. It’s no biggie.

This filled my 3.6 L slow cooker, and I guesstimate from the 3 recipes I took pieces from that it makes 8 servings. This of course depends on your idea of serving size.

Note: To make gumbo ya-ya, make with chicken and andouille sausage.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood; Gumbo
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cooking oil
  • 1 stalk coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 chopped small brown onion
  • ½ a large green pepper/capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ½ pound chorizo or andouille sausage
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 10 ounces thawed chopped okra
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 ½ pounds raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • meat of 5 raw chicken thighs, chopped into largest pieces possible
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • ~
  • cooked white rice ( to be made 30 minutes before serving)
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan on low-medium heat, stir together the flour and oil until mixed well. Continue to let it cook for several minutes stirring. Then let it cook for about 15 minutes, until it’s golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Turn the slow cooker onto low, and pour in the beef stock. Stir in the roux until combined, and then add in the rest of the ingredients (except the cooked rice).
  3. Cook for 8 hours in slow cooker and serve on top of the white rice.

 

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