Advice, Culture

Legit Louisiana Gumbo, by Louis Michot

Cooking French Gumbo in Louisiana

By Ian Young, Editor

Before I stepped foot in Louisiana, I made Isaac Toups’s gumbo and thought it turned out pretty well. I made my own roux with grapeseed oil, flower and elbow grease, and took it up a notch with homemade bone broth. I thought it was pretty good. Then I ate Louis Michot’s gumbo, and realized I was missing so much (and I was working too hard).

Watch Louis Michot share his super-easy recipe for gumbo.

“A gumbo is a great representation for how French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultures come together.”

-Louis Michot

The tasso makes the difference. What’s tasso? It’s a specialty of Louisiana cuisine, and it brings gumbos and jambalayas to life. Typically made of sliced pork shoulder; it’s dry cured, rinsed, rubbed with spices and smoked, and it’s everywhere in Acadiana. Louis’s recipe uses two types of tasso: ham and turkey. Turkey tasso is called tasso dinde, because turkey comes from “from India” as in D’Inde (a funny new world misnomer). 

Louis also makes it easy on the chef. He gets good smoked meats, a fresh hen, jarred roux, and some beer and assembles a gumbo by rote (recipe below). When the gumbo is done, top it off with the finishings (les finitions): green onion, parsley, and filé. Some Cajuns like theirs with a dash of hot sauce. Louis likes his with a scoop of potato salad on the side, and I have to say it was pretty good his way. Oh, much like lasagna, gumbo is always better the next day.  Allons manger ! (Let’s go eat!)

LOUIS’S LEGIT LOUISIANA GUMBO RECIPE 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery 
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 8-ounce package tasso 
  • 1 8-ounce package turkey tasso (tasso dinde
  • 1 8-ounce package smoked sausage (andouille)
  • 1 hen; quartered, skin on
  • 3 quarts bone/chicken broth or water
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Your favorite cajun seasoning salt 
  • Oil (vegetable or olive) 
  • ½ jar roux (8 ounces) 
  • 3 bay leaves (feuilles de laurier) 
  • Green onions, sliced (oignon vert
  • Parsely, chopped (persil)
  • Ground filé (aka gumbo filé powder, sassafras) 
  • Long grain white rice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in large pot. Dust chicken pieces with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and smoked paprika (optional). Brown chicken skin side down. Slice and add smoked meats: tasso, smoked sausage, turkey tasso 
  2. Add the trinity (chopped onion, celery, bell pepper) as well as garlic, and sweat the veggies. Add bone broth/water until meat is covered. Stir in the roux and add bay leaves, simmer for 4-5 hours (Cool on stovetop for 2-3 more hours before refrigerating)
  3. Meanwhile, cook your rice. Slice green onions, parsley, and grind filé for the finishings
  4. To plate: ladle gumbo, one scoop of rice, a pinch of green onions and parsley, and a dash of filé. 
  5. Allons manger ! (Let’s go eat!)

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