LISTEN TO MF DOOM “MM..FOOD” ON SPOTIFY
This is part of the Cooking The Album project for MF DOOM’s MM..FOOD.
You gotta watch your gums on this
But it’s, it’s very good, it’s very healthy
This track is a perfect example of drew me to MF DOOM in the first place. Found vocals laid in over a killer production track. In this case, as per the album’s theme, the samples are food-related. Specifically, a collaged promotion for “edible wrappers” which appears to be some sort of packaging one could consume rather than throw away. The brilliance lies in DOOM’s assemblage of these spoken snippets into a surreal commercial and, of course, the play on “wrapper/rapper”. Plus you gotta love a track that ends with a “and eat more chitlins” sample.
I’m not going to say this is authentic gumbo but it is sincere.
There are three key elements to a great gumbo. The first is the andouille. You might be tempted to substitute another type of sausage, and it might be delicious anyway, but it really won’t taste like gumbo. I prefer to brown my andouille while prepping, but that step is not necessary as it will cook through in the simmer phase.
The second key element is okra. I’ll admit it’s can be an acquired taste, but it’s vital here for thickening the gravy. Unless you live in the Southern U.S., you’ll likely be using frozen pre-cut okra. That’s what I used here and it worked perfectly. Take it out of the freezer while you’re doing prep to allow it to thaw a bit.
The final element is the one that may be most daunting: the roux. It’s simply not any form of gumbo if you don’t make a brown roux. Hey, I understand your possible aversion. I spent years skipping recipes that required roux. They require a ton of tending and temperature control to turn out correctly. For a gumbo roux, you’re going to be standing at the stove of at least 15 minutes if not more. You’ll need to keep whisking and watch your heat so it doesn’t scorch. In the end, however, you’re efforts will be rewarded with a deep brown roux that’ll drop a deep flavor bomb into this dish.
You could just use either chicken breast or thigh, but I like the combo of light and dark meat in this dish. You could certainly buy a whole chicken, break it down, and poach that. You’d get a deeper flavor in the cooking liquid you use at the end of the recipe and probably save a bit in food cost.
Chicken, andouille, okra, peppers, onion, celery and tomatoes served over rice
Makes about 6 servings
2 pounds chicken boneless skinless breast and thigh
2 quarts water
1 pound frozen okra, 1-inch slices
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, medium dice
1 1/2 cups red & green bell pepper, medium dice
1/3 cup celery, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16oz can diced canned tomatoes with juice
12 ounces Andouille sausage cooked, sliced
1 bay leaf dried
1 teaspoon thyme dried
1 teaspoon basil dried
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili pepper (use less for lower spiciness)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium-sized pot, add chicken breast and thighs and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring water to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked about 20 to 25 minutes. Strain water and reserve. Remove cooked chicken from pot, allow to cool, then shred into small pieces. Cover and set aside.
In a large pot, combine 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 cup flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk to make a dark brown roux, about 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes make sure to continuously stir so the roux does not burn.
Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add okra, tomatoes, and sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
Add 4 cups of the reserved chicken poaching water and mix well. You may add more water depending on how thick you want the gumbo. Simmer over medium-low heat, for approximately 30 minutes with pot loosely covered, stirring occasionally. Add cooked shredded chicken and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Serve over rice.