Recharged by everyone's New Years resolutions, I was excited to get back into the kitchen!
If I've learned anything, I've learned that no cooking experiment in my kitchen goes off without a hitch.
I made my grocery list and we headed to the grocery. The list wasn't long, all of the ingredients were reasonable.
Turns out, New Years Day means Kroger is out of rotisserie chickens and I wasn't about to figure out how to cook chicken thighs. We abandoned the chicken and went for "Sausage Gumbo." No problem.
Once we had all of the ingredients, I excitedly set out chopping the peppers, onions and sausage while humming along to Spotify. I browned the sausage perfectly and thought, "I am such a good cook. Why don't I cook all the time?"
When it came to making the "roux," however, the wheels fell off. I still do not understand what went wrong. I read these instructions 100 times and followed them precisely.
Remove Dutch oven from heat for a few minutes to cool slightly then place back over medium heat. Add remaining 3 Tablespoons oil then sprinkle in flour and whisk constantly until mixture is the color of caramel, 10-15 minutes (this is your roux.) Add bell pepper, celery, and shallot or onion then saute until vegetables are slightly tender, 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the Dutch oven often with a wooden spoon to make sure roux doesn't burn. Add garlic and tomato paste then saute for one more minute.
I ended up with a ball of gloop that began to burn in my Dutch oven. Like some of the best amateur chefs, I added some chicken broth thinking that would make it liquid again. Nope. Just a bigger ball of gloop that looked more like cookie dough than the beautiful Iowa Girl roux in her pictures.
Dejected, I slopped the failed roux into the trash, sauteed the veggies without it, poured the chicken broth in and mixed in a tablespoon of flour to thicken. To my horror, the broth didn't thicken, the flour formed terrible clumps that laughed at me from the pot. I whisked anyway, confirmed we had a fresh tub of hummus, added the spices and the sausage back into the pot and let it all simmer.
Against all odds, we didn't have to eat hummus for dinner! The "gumbo" turned out pretty tasty! It was a little spicy for my preferences, but that's my own fault for abandoning the concept of measurement during my seasoning step. Vasily had two bowls, so I know it was a winner!
Have you ever made gumbo? What did I do wrong?