We couldn’t finish this Music Crush of the Month series without a cajun recipe from Will Payne Harrison. From the singer-songwriter himself, here is his classic gumbo recipe.
Will’s Gumbo Recipe
2 Sticks of Butter
1 Cup of Flour
1 Bell Pepper
1 Small White Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Stalks of Celery(optional)
2 lbs of Chicken
1-2 lbs of Andouille Sausage
64 ounces of Chicken Stock
First, to set the ambiance, I made you a Louisiana music playlist.
Start out by chopping your bell pepper, onion, garlic cloves, okra and celery. You don’t want to do this later because you’ll be busy stirring the roux so it doesn’t burn. Use a large gumbo pot and heat the stovetop to medium. Add the two sticks of butter. Once the butter is melted, slowly add the one cup of flour and, I cannot stress this enough, stir constantly. You don’t know true anger until you’ve burned your own roux. If you can, task the stirring to a friend or family member who wants to help but sucks at cooking. Just make sure that they know if they burn it, you’ll throw them into the pot.
Once the roux becomes a caramel to milk chocolate color (depending on how dark you want it), add the chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Allow the vegetables to wilt. This will take approximately 5-10 minutes. This is the point when your family and friends start to say “mmm something smells amazing!” Tell them “You’re darn right! I’m making Will Payne Harrison’s gumbo.”
Slowly add in the chicken stock and stir so that it all blends together. Add in five bay leaves. I prefer to pre-cut my chicken, some people like it to fall off of the bone. For my recipe, I’m going to say to cut the chicken and andouille and add it to the pot. Turn up the heat to medium/high. Cook for about 20-30 minutes and then you can lower to a low medium. If you have okra, add the chopped okra along with two tablespoons of Tony’s and stir that all in. Put a lid on it and let it simmer for around an hour. Start the rice in the last 20 minutes so that it’s ready to go. If you like spicy, you’ll probably want more Tony’s but if you’re cooking for Northerners, you may want to wait until they taste it before adding more.
One final note: If you add tomatoes to this recipe, I will find you and I will slap your hand with a wooden spoon like an old cajun MawMaw.
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