Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs
You couldn't get any more authentic. This was taught to me by my Cajun maternal grandmother who was taught by her maternal grandmother. I've never run across a gumbo recipe with "parsley meatballs". These are optional. I asked my mom about this and she said that this was probably used to "extend" the gumbo because there were usually so many mouths to feed. It's a great addition and worthy of the effort. An observation: never have I eaten Gumbo until recently that has been deboned and this was always at restaurants. Oh, using a baking hen results in a more velvety texture and I have to honestly say that I've never used a fryer. One last thing...it's freezable.
- 1 baking hen, washed and cut up
- 1 lb smoked sausage or 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1⁄2 lb ham, chunks diced small
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup celery, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup minced parsley, fresh
- 1 1⁄2-2 cups green onions, tops and bottoms sliced thin
Optional parsley meatballs
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1⁄4 cup green onion, tops and bottoms sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley, fresh
- In a very large heavy bottomed stock pot or gumbo pot, heat oil on medium heat until hot; add flour. Stir constantly until it reaches a reddish-brown color. This could take approximately 30-40 minutes. Don't hurry the process. If your phone rings, let it go. Should your roux burn, start over.
- Turn off fire and carefully add chopped onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
- Add water and cut-up hen pieces. The amount of water depends on your pot, but start off with 1 gallon. Bring to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered. The broth consistency should not be too thin nor too thick. Add additional water when needed.
- In the meantime make the parsley meatballs:.
- In a bowl, break up ground beef.
- Add 1/4 cup each green onions and parsley.
- Salt and pepper to taste; mix using a light hand forming into balls; set aside.
- After the first 1 1/2 hours of simmering and a water adjustment, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add diced ham chunks, smoked sausage slices and parsley meatballs.
- Simmer an additional 1/2 - 3/4 hour or until hen is very tender and falling off the bone.
- Grease will form on top; skim off.
- Turn off fire; add parsley and green onions.
- Ladle over rice.
this is a bit of work, a bit of babysitting but the results.....omg are soo worth it!! Please DO pay attention to the roux! I got it successfully(!) to a beautiful caramel color. The only thing I would do differently is to use chicken parts with out rib bones....picking out small bones got in the way of shoveling big mouthfuls. ;) i did make the meatballs & they are fabulous! We absolutely loved this. I highly recommend that everyone should find a day & create this masterpiece! made for 2/11 aussie/nz swap.