1/3poundAndouille sausage sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
One small bay leaf
In a large heavy skillet sauté the okra in 1 tablespoon oil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all “ropiness” is gone. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the flour and make a dark brown roux, almost “mahogany” in color. This can take up to 30 minutes—be patient and stir constantly.
(Directions for preparing a dark roux, from The Gumbo Shop Cookbook. “Place the oil in the pot and send it over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour, making sure it is evenly blended and free of lumps. Continue stirring as the roux cooks and bubbles. The bubbles are an indication that moisture is being boiled out of the flour. As soon as the bubbling stops and the aroma becomes similar to popcorn, the flour is actually frying, and the rate of browning accelerates rapidly. In other words, pay very close attention from this point on.”)
As soon as the proper color is achieved, add the onions, bell pepper and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally until tender. During this process, allow the vegetables to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit, then scrape the bottom. This allows some of the natural sugars in the onions to caramelize, rendering great depth of flavor.
When the vegetables are tender, add the tomatoes, Andouille sausage and sautéed okra. Continue cooking and stirring for about 15 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, basil, sage, peppers and salt and mix well. Pour in about 4 cups of stock, bring to a slow boil, lower the heat and simmer for one hour. Add the smoked turkey, shrimp, and additional stock if necessary and simmer for 15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over steamed rice.
Ken packs cooked white rice into a metal 1/3 cup measure, tapping it out into the bowl to make a small, tight mound. Then he ladles the gumbo into the bowl.