FOR THE SHRIMP BUTTER: ( To make your life easier make this ahead of time !!! )
1 LB. Shrimp cleaned and deveined - we will use the shells for the butter and the shrimp for the gumbo
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. garlic minced - more if you like
8 oz butter ( you can always put in more butter if you want )
Clean and de-vein your shrimp. Set the shrimp aside for the gumbo and place the shrimp shells on a cookie sheet. Bake the shells at 350 F until they are a beautiful pink and have a toasted fresh seafood smell. In a medium saucepan melt your butter along with the green onions and garlic. Once the butter is melted add in your shrimp shells. I let mine cook on the lowest possible setting on my stove top for approximately 1-2 hours. Turn it off and strain it once they are golden brown. ( see the video )!!!!
I will do a triple batch of this butter and freeze it for future recipes. It does take a bit of time but this way I only have to do it 1x and clean 1x but eat many times !!! Win Win !!!
FOR THE ROUX:
Melt 8 oz. butter and add in 1 cup flour. Brown until it is somewhere between an almond color and a peanut butter color. Some people like it even darker and if you do too then go for it !!!!
If your a hard core gumbo lover make a double or triple batch of this ... it does take a bit of time and this way you will have roux ready for 2-3 meals instead of just one. If you do extra batches for future gumbo adventures, just freeze it in the recipe amount. Once your roux is done remove it from the pan and set the recipe amount aside for the end of your gumbo cooking time and whisk it in then.
FOR THE GUMBO - Oh my Gosh GUMBO!!!!
7-8 OZ Bacon-cut into bite size pieces
1 TO 1 1/2 LB. Andouille sausage
4-6 Split Chicken Breasts - I used my smoked ones that I smoke in bulk and freeze but you don't have to do this and I will be doing a video on that shortly!!!!
1 1/2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
4 Bay leaves - these need to be pulled out before serving !!
1/4 cup garlic - minced ( yes I used that much but if you want less go for it I want you to be happy with this !!! )
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. Lawry's Garlic Salt
2 Knorr homestyle stock cups - chicken flavored
1-2 cups white wine - this is optional if you for any reason don't want to include this you do you and don't!!!! If you do want to include this I highly recommend a Pinot Grigio its perfect for this.
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning - adjust to your taste and the level of heat your cajun seasoning has in it!!
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. ( heaping ) sweet smoked paprika
1 - 49.5 oz can of Swansons Chicken Broth
2-3 cups onions, chopped
2-3 cups celery, chopped
2-3 cups tomatoes, chopped
2-3 cups bell peppers, chopped ( I used all the colors )
1 cup green onions, chopped + more for garnish
gumbo file ( sassafras leaves ground ) - for garnish ( light sprinkle only )
Ok now for our gumbo !!! Cook your bite size bacon pieces. We aren't really looking for the bacon here. What we want is the fond in the bottom of the pan ( those flavor gems !! ) and a little bit of the bacon grease. Remove the bacon and save it for another recipe or do like I did and eat it all while I was making my gumbo !!!
Brown your Andouille Sausage and your chicken. Once browned add in both types of onions. Add in your aromatics, seasonings and herbs. You want to do this and let it go a minute or two before adding anything else because the fat we are cooking these herbs, spices and etc. in will bring out way more flavor.
You want to add in both types of onions, garlic and all the herbs and spices and let them saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the roux, the shrimp and any garnishes you want to use. The shrimp and shrimp butter won't be used until the end.
Once your gumbo and all the veggies in it are tender add in your roux and whisk it in until the gumbo because a beautiful creamy gumbo texture. At the time of serving sauce your cleaned shrimp in your shrimp butter. Serve your gumbo with steamed white rice and then topped with your shrimp, more shrimp butter and garnish with gumbo file and green onions if you like.
If you need any help let me know!!!!