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All About

Gumbos

An iconic New Orleans stew, gumbo starts with an aromatic base of onions, peppers, and celery. From there, the options are endless. Many gumbos combine seafood and meat and all receive robust seasonings. Warming bowls of gumbo served with rice or bread are an ideal make-ahead dish for casual entertaining.

recipe

An authentic Louisiana gumbo almost always begins with a flour-and-fat roux to thicken the stew while adding an earth-and-smoke undercurrent. Browning the flour dry, scattered and stirred in a pan, achieves virtually the same effect -- without all the calories.Just one link of andouille sausage gives the dish heaps of flavor, and okra slices bring on a velvety texture.

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recipe

Gumbo is traditionally served over white rice, but crusty French bread would also be good for soaking up the rich broth. For a spicier stew, add a dash or two of hot sauce. In place of the chicken thighs, you can use leftover chicken or other meats, such as turkey or ham; if you do, skip step one, and add just before serving.

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Folks enjoy this satisfying Louisiana gumbo during winter, particularly when they're trying to recover from months of rich holiday foods. Each cook has his or her preferred version. I like mine with a small amount of meat added for flavoring, and I love the combo of collards and mustard greens. The story goes that for each type of green in it, a new friend will be made in the coming year, so feel free to throw some of your favorite greens into the pot and make some more friends!

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