Have you ever wanted to prepare gumbo on a weeknight, but decided against it because you thought it would take too long? We’ve all been there. The flavors of gumbo are complex, but it doesn’t have to take an entire afternoon of cooking to achieve them. With a bit of advance prep work, making gumbo on a weeknight is an easily accomplished feat.
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spread 4½ cups all-purpose flour on prepared pan. Bake, raking edges inward and center outward every 10 minutes, until flour is the color of light ground cinnamon, about 1½ hours. (Watch flour carefully toward end of cooking time.) Remove from oven; let cool completely. Store in a large (1.5-quart) airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 3 months. To use, mix with at least equal parts liquid before adding to recipes.
Line 1 to 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide 4 cups chopped yellow onion, 2 cups chopped celery, and 2 cups chopped green bell pepper between prepared pans, spreading in an even layer. Freeze for 2 hours. Store in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. To use, thaw and drain desired amount of vegetable mixture. Use in recipe as directed.
Cook 2 cups long-grain rice according to package directions. Spread cooked rice in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes. Scoop rice in 1- to 2-cup portions into quart-size heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Spread bagged rice into a thin, flat layer, pressing out excess air. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, add directly to dishes; microwave, covered, in 1-minute increments; or heat on stovetop with 1 tablespoon water, stirring frequently (add more water as needed to prevent rice from sticking).
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ pound andouille sausage, cut into ⅓-inch-thick slices
- 1½ cups frozen trinity mix, thawed and drained (recipe precedes)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning*
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup dry roux, sifted (recipe precedes)
- 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1½ teaspoons filé powder
- Frozen long-grain rice, reheated (recipe precedes)
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
- In a large Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add andouille; cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. (Reduce heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning.) Remove andouille using a slotted spoon, and transfer to a bowl.
- Add trinity to Dutch oven; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. (Reduce heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning.) Add thyme, garlic, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaf; sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups broth, scraping browned bits from bottom of pot with a wooden spoon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry roux and remaining 2 cups broth. Add roux mixture to pot with andouille; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 20 minutes, adding chicken during last 5 minutes of cooking time. Discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in filé powder. Serve immediately with rice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.