It’s a rare occasion that I cook gumbo in the summer, but the temperature dropped after the remnants of Hurricane Laura blew through our area last week. So, with the last of my smoked goodies in need of use, I jumped on the opportunity for a comforting bowl of this humble stew. Gumbo loves smoke and spice, and the sweet notes from the 5 Spice rub on the duck I smoked, which I was crossing my fingers would taste delicious, actually helped to balance the bold flavors of this dish. It’s kind of the only way I wanna eat Gumbo from now on.
Since I didn’t have fresh okra on hand, I thickened this batch of Gumbo with roux and File` powder, but any combination of roux, okra, or File` works. Also, if you don’t have smoked duck, then swap it with smoked or rotisserie chicken. Flexibility is the quickest way to fun in the kitchen.
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 AP flour
1/4 tsp fennel seed
2 five spice smoked duck breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
2 smoked Portobello caps, diced
2 med tomatoes, cored and diced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 med green bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp File` powder, or to taste
4 green scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced, and green tops reserved for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 cup Jasmin rice, thoroughly rinsed
2 cups water
2 tabs butter
To begin, start the herbed rice. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small Dutch oven over high flame. Add to the boiling water the rinsed Jasmin rice, sliced bottoms of the green scallions, fresh cilantro, and butter. Stir well, reduce flame to low, and cover the rice with a heavy lid. Cook the rice anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the flame and remove the lid and allow the rice to rest about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork then cover the rice and set aside.
Start the roux. In a small nonstick skillet heat the 1/4 cup oil on low heat. Gently whisk in the 1/4 c AP flour and fennel seeds. Continuously stir the roux until a brick red color is reached, about 45 min. Turn off the heat and set the roux aside. Alternately, pick up your favorite bottled roux and use per the directions.
Preheat a med Dutch oven over a med high flame. Add in the diced celery, onion, and bell pepper. Salt and pepper the vegetables then sauté until the vegetables are just tender. Add in the thyme, diced tomato, and roux. Stir until well combined. Continue cooking the mix an additional 3 minutes. Pour in the beef stock and stir all the fond up from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Simmer the Gumbo until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. To finish, turn off the heat, discard the bay leaves, and add in the smoked duck, Portobello, Tabasco sauce, and File` powder. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve the Gumbo immediately with the herbed rice. Garnish with the green scallion tops and additional Tabasco sauce, if desired.