I love gumbo…spicy, fiery, gut-warming, bayou born and Cajun raised authentic old-school gumbo. You know what I’m talking about…the kind of gumbo that starts with a deep dark roux, the perfect timing for adding in the holy trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery, the freshest of ingredients, and a slow simmer that takes a day and a half.
This is not that sort of gumbo recipe. Let me start by saying, there is no roux in this recipe. Nope. And that’s why I am not technically calling it an authentic gumbo. I have two deadly sins that I value above all the rest; sloth and gluttony…which is why this gumbo is the gumbo I make for myself when I’m hungry but don’t want to do the work. I’d even go so far as to call this gum-faux. Haha! Regardless of its lineage or official title or designation as gumbo or not gumbo, it’s damn delicious. Also, as you can obviously tell from both the photo of the final product as well as the list of ingredients, this is a gumbo chock full of Voodoo influence, which makes it perfect for the Halloween season...and since we're at the halfway point (or Half-o-ween as we call it) I figured this was a great way to not only enjoy some amazing food, but have a little spooky fun at the same time. If you're a little hesitant to make this as spooky as I have, feel free to remove the chicken feet before serving and completely omit the green food coloring.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
To make my sinfully slothful seafood gumbo (gum-faux), you will need:
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
- 2 cups diced okra, fresh or frozen
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 8 oz spicy sausage, cooked and sliced
- 1 lb ground pork, cooked and drained
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup green pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/2 Tablespoon Paprika, smoked
- 1 Tablespoon green food coloring
- Louisiana Hot Sauce (as much or as little as you can stand)
- 1/4 Cup butter
- 3-5 chicken feet
- 1/4 lb Crab legs/claws
- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 1 cup chopped spinach, cooked and drained
- 4 cups black forbidden rice, cooked
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Step 2: Double Double, Toil and Trouble...
In a crockpot, combine your water, tomatoes, bay leaves, ground pork, diced onion, diced celery, diced green pepper, garlic, okra, bouillon cubes, Cajun seasoning, sliced sausage, parsley, paprika, green food coloring, Louisiana hot sauce, and butter. Save your cooked spinach for later. We'll be using that in the final steps.
Turn your crockpot to low and let cook covered for a minimum of 4 hours. Mmm… Every hour this magical blend of spices and ingredients cooks, it gets better tasting… After 4 hours, add in your whole crab claws, shrimp, and chicken feet. (If you're planning on serving this "spooky style," then it's incredibly important to keep them whole! The final impact will be that much more dramatic.)
Recover your pot and allow to simmer for another hour. Make sure during that last hour you do some serious taste testing. Season to taste using salt, pepper, and more Louisiana hot sauce. You can adjust the hot sauce as your tastebuds dictate. Make this magical melange as spicy hot or as savory as you wan
Step 3: Light Your Candles and Summon Your Hunger...
Serve by first layering down a scoop of forbidden rice followed by a scoop of gumbo. Make sure you get a few shrimp, a crab claw, and a chicken foot or two for each serving.
Spoon on a garnish of cooked spinach for additional color and enjoy!
So delicious, you’d swear there was Voodoo involved!