Sneak Preview: This Easy Gumbo Without Tomatoes is full of chicken and smoked sausage. Directions are included for making a roux in a microwave.
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Gumbo is like meatloaf. Everybody prefers his Mama’s meatloaf unless Mama doesn’t make it. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t make gumbo, so I had to figure it out for myself.
If you don’t already have a family recipe for gumbo, I think you’ll like this relatively simple one. It’s easy to adjust the spices to make the soup spicier or less so.
Just so you know.
I’m not Cajun, nor do I claim to be an expert in the cuisine, although I did honeymoon with my husband in New Orleans. Does that count?
I don’t remember much about the food on that trip, so I doubt it.
My brother-in-law introduced me to gumbo years ago. He was adamant about no tomatoes in his gumbo recipe. I ended up loving his gumbo and no-tomato policy, so I do the same.
If you like Cajun food, you might enjoy my Easy Shrimp Étouffée which is not authentic but delicious on its own merit. Cajun Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms is a good make-ahead dish because the flavors get better when they can marry in the fridge overnight, just like this gumbo. Finally, red beans and rice is our guilty pleasure. I’ll confess I tried to copy Popeye’s red beans and rice. This isn’t their recipe, but we think it’s just as good.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- ONIONS: White or yellow, fresh or frozen
- GREEN BELL PEPPERS: Fresh or frozen
- CELERY: Fresh or frozen (I’ve never seen frozen celery in the grocery store, but I like to freeze chopped celery and keep it on hand for soups.)
- GARLIC CLOVES: Fresh, jarred, or frozen
- OIL: Use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil is ideal.
- FLOUR: All-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
- CHICKEN BROTH: Use bouillon, cubes, or canned broth. The best broth is what you make yourself, of course.
- SEASONINGS: Make sure you are using relatively fresh seasonings, not old dusty seasonings that have lost their flavor.
- HOT PEPPER SAUCE: I like Frank’s Hot Sauce or Tabasco.
- OKRA: Fresh or frozen sliced okra. Regarding okra in gumbo: We love it, but I don’t think the Cajun police will arrest you if you leave it out.
- SMOKED SAUSAGE: Andouille sausage is really delicious but I rarely have it. Otherwise, I use smoked sausage links.
- CHICKEN: I use rotisserie chicken because it’s so convenient, both white and dark meat. Leftover turkey is a good substitute.
Why make the roux in the microwave?
1. Microwaved roux requires less oil.
Making a roux (the characteristic dark brown flour and fat mixture) in the microwave is not traditional. Nonetheless, it works and requires much less oil than on top of the stove. I use a 2-quart Pyrex batter bowl because it can withstand the heat.
In this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, I used 1 part fat to 3 parts flour. If you prefer, use two parts fat to 3 parts flour or do 1:1 proportions.
2. Less time is needed to obtain a dark color.
Microwave ovens vary. But in my OLD microwave, the roux will go from blond to medium-dark chocolate in about 10 minutes. Of course, your timing might be different, so pay attention. If necessary, record how long it took to get the color you want so you will know for the next time.
3. When using less oil, you must mash the clumps of flour and oil against the side of the bowl.
Instead of just stirring like you can do when using 1:1 oil and flour, you must press the flour and oil against the side of the dish to evenly distribute the heat and make sure the roux browns evenly. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.
Do not use untempered glass or a plastic container for this method. Fat and flour get extremely hot and could melt or break your dish.
How to make a
roux in the microwave:
My favorite and much-used batter bowl is perfect for making a roux in the microwave. I don’t recommend using the whisk for this project. A wooden spoon works better.
Making roux in a microwave Top left: Combine the oil and flour. Top right: Microwave on HIGH and stir often. Bottom left: This roux is brown enough for me. I’m ready to stop. Bottom right: Add the roux to your vegetables and then the warm broth.
What do I serve with gumbo without tomatoes?
I serve gumbo the traditional way, with rice at the bottom of the bowl. I’ve heard that some people put potato salad under their gumbo. I load my bowl with mashed cauliflower, then pour gumbo over the top.
Do you enjoy Cajun food?
If you like Cajun food, you might enjoy my Easy Shrimp Étouffée which is not authentic but delicious on its own merit.
Cajun Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms is a good make-ahead dish because the flavors get better when they can marry in the fridge overnight, just like this gumbo.
Finally, red beans and rice is our guilty pleasure. I’ll confess I tried to copy Popeye’s red beans and rice. This isn’t their recipe, but we think it’s just as good.
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula
Simple Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo Recipe without Tomatoes
- ¾ cup flour
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 6 cups warm chicken broth - I boil the bones from a Rotisserie chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce - I like Frank’s
- 1 10 oz-package frozen sliced okra (thawed) - or 1 -2 cups sliced fresh okra
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 pound smoked sausage
- 1 pound diced cooked chicken - (I use a Rotisserie chicken, no skin)
Making the roux:
- Stir oil and flour together in a microwave-safe bowl. A Pyrex 2-quart batter bowl works perfectly. Place into the microwave and cook on HIGH for 8-10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon after every minute for the first 5 minutes and about every 45 seconds thereafter. Stir and mash flour against the side to be sure the mixture is the same color throughout before returning to the oven. (If you see black specks, it has burned and needs to be thrown out. Start over again being careful not to overcook by stirring frequently and thoroughly.) Cook until the oil and flour mixture is the color of chocolate. Some people like it even darker…not me.
Making the gumbo
- Spray large heavy-duty Dutch oven with a light coating of vegetable oil and saute onions, pepper, and celery. Cover to sweat and cook vegetables while completing step two.
- Add roux to softened vegetables in a Dutch oven. Stir warm broth and remaining seasonings into roux and vegetable mixture until roux is completely dissolved. Simmer 45-60 minutes. Add okra and chopped parsley. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
- While veggies simmer, dice sausage into medium size pieces. Saute it in a medium skillet until brown. (Helps to relieve sausage of some of its grease.) Drain.
- About 5 minutes before ready to serve, add sausage and chicken to pot and heat through. Remove bay leaves, taste, and adjust seasonings.
- Spoon cooked, long-grain rice into a bowl and cover with gumbo. Serve with saltines or toasted French bread.