The other day Alex and I were eating a leisurely lunch and enjoying an episode of The Victory Garden on PBS. I love this show. It’s hipster foodie-ness at it’s finest. The episode was highlighting North Carolina and okra was shown in a few of the segments. Of course, then Alex wanted me to make Gumbo. A dish that I haven’t made since our pre-Paleo days. The reason? The gluten-laden roux. Well, I played around with different ideas and decided on rice flour. I give you… Paleo Gumbo!
Now, some Paleo purists will argue that rice is NOT Paleo. I will be the first to agree that it may not be for everyone. However, if you have dialed in your diet and are looking to experiment with new foods, try white rice. It’s easy on the digestive system and is a good source of carbs for those who are highly active (my hubs for example). We don’t have it often, but both of us seem to do fine on the occasions when we do have it in a meal.
What is the purpose of a roux anyway? Why bother? The roux acts to thicken the stew a little, but more importantly, it gives flavor. For gumbo, you want to make a brown roux, which, as you may have guessed, means you are cooking the roux until it turns a deep brown color. If you really don’t want to take the time to do this or just want to avoid the rice flour altogether, make the recipe without the roux. The okra will thicken it slightly and it will still be tasty!
My favorite thing about this Paleo Gumbo? There are 3 different proteins in there. Yes, three. And if you have perused some of my other posts, you know that it’s nearly impossible to fill up my husband. He eats a lot. So, the more meat the better. However, if you are not a fan of any of the three proteins I included, just omit and add more of something that you do like! Easy peasy!
This Paleo Gumbo is by no means a quick prep meal, but if you have a few hours to let it simmer on the stove, it’s worth the time. It makes a bunch, so you will have plenty of leftovers for another meal or to freeze for another time.
Okay, let’s get to the recipe!
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 12 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch
- 3 Tablespoons butter or ghee, divided
- 1/3 cup white rice flour
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups of homemade chicken or pork stock (click here to get a slow cooker recipe or click here for an Instant Pot recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to season the chicken
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to season the chicken
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 12 ounces sliced okra, either thawed if frozen or fresh
- 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with the juices
- 1/2 pound of small wild-caught shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- White rice or cauli-rice for serving
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and melt two Tablespoons of butter.
- Generously, season the diced chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the chicken to the stock pot and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the chicken to a bowl.
- Add the sliced Andouille sausage to the stock pot and sauté until lightly browned. Remove the sausage to the bowl with the chicken. The sausage will have given off some fat. Do not strain it out of the stock pot.
- Add another Tablespoon of butter to the stock pot and after it melts add the 1/3 cup of white rice flour. You are making the roux, so you will want to watch it carefully in order to make sure it does not burn. Keep moving the roux around the stock pot until it turns a rich brown color, 8-10 minutes.
- Add in the diced vegetables (celery through garlic) and sauté in the roux for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the 4 cups of stock, the meats (chicken and sausage), and all of the seasonings (onion powder through paprika).
- Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Let the gumbo simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the okra and tomatoes. Return the pot to a simmer and let it cook for another 30-45 minutes.
- Five minutes before serving, add in the shrimp and cook until they are light pink and cooked through.
- Serve over a bowl of white rice or cauli-rice for some added veggies.
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