Shrimp shells (and crab shells, if you have them) add a sweet depth of flavor to this classic killer gumbo. Traditional New Orleans style roux can be a little tricky and can burn if left unattended even for a minute, so don’t try to save prep time by chopping your veggies while it cooks. And don’t even think about checking your Instagram feed!
- 1 pound spot shrimp, peeled and deveined (shells reserved)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored and seeded
- 1 medium onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 ½ pounds Andouille sausage
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Steamed rice for serving
- Place shrimp shells and 1 tablespoon of the oil into a medium saucepan and cook over high heat until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the liquid is flavorful and reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 15 minutes. Strain the stock into a heatproof cut, pressing hard on the shells.
- Meanwhile, cut bell pepper, onion, and celery into ½-inch pieces and finely chop garlic. Cut Andouille into ½-inch slices.
- In a large heavy pot, stir the remaining vegetable oil and flour until smooth. Cook, stirring or whisking constantly over medium heat until the roux is fragrant and the color of dark peanut butter, about 20 minutes. Immediately add the green pepper, onion, and celery and cook, stirring until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, Andouille sausage, paprika, cayenne, thyme, and bay leaf and cook until sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the strained shrimp stock and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the spot shrimp and simmer until pink and curled, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice and Louisiana hot sauce.
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Pair it Up
Sip a glass of chilled chenin blanc from the Loire Valley in France alongside this smoky, sweet, and richly flavored New Orleans classic.
Level it Up
Fold in some sweet Dungeness or bairdi crab meat along with the spot shrimp for a next-level gumbo.
Change it Up
Gumbo (minus the rice) freezes well for up to 2 months. Make a big batch to enjoy now and later. You’ll be glad you did.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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