Gumbo for Memphis in May

Every year at Memphis in May, we all look forward to time with friends, a few cold beverages, and of course a little friendly competition. More importantly, we like to share our tables with these great friends (even if we do not see some of these folks but once a year). Of course we share our very best barbeque recipes right? Well, sort of…we all do like to show off our chops at the smokers and grills, but we also like to show off our other skills. With folks coming in from all over the country, we each like to exhibit our regional fare. For us at Ubons, we love our gumbo with Mississippi made Polk’s sausage and, of course, fresh Mississippi gulf seafood. The Barbeque Princess whips up a giant batch in this video to share with our friends, but we have scaled it back in the following recipe (below video) into a more reasonable size. This is just a base, so test out different ingredients and make it your own. Enjoy!

2 lbs chicken pieces (dark meat is best or sub duck, yum!)
6 cups water
1 celery stalk
1 large carrot
Salt, pepper, bay leaf, Cajun seasoning to taste
Place in a large stockpot and boil covered about 20 minutes, or until chicken pulls easily from the bone. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Discard vegetables. Pull chicken from the bone when cool enough to handle.

3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 stick butter
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
2 cups cut okra
1 cup corn kernels
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 lb Polk’s original smoked sausage
Reserved chicken from above
Reserved chicken stock from above
1 lb fresh seafood (shrimp, oysters, crawfish tails, crab claws…whatever you like)
1 cup Ubons BBQ Blood Mary Mix (all natural, fat free, gluten free, no MSG)

In a large pot, over medium low heat, melt butter, add olive oil and flour. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom of the pot until pale golden brown, and a nutty aroma rises from the pot. Carefully add the stock (WARNING: it will likely boil and steam vigorously). Add the remaining ingredients, less the seafood and simmer covered at least 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the seafood and let cook about 5 additional minutes. Can be served immediately over rice with saltines. Garnish with gumbo filé and hot sauce if desired. It is actually better if you cool it down and let it sit refrigerated for 24-48 hours. That is when the magic happens. Patience is a virtue.