Bacon Gumbo with Louisiana Oysters
Try this decadent recipe from chef Aaron Burgau at Patois Restaurant in New Orleans. Gumbo comes in so many varieties and this one kicks it up a notch for the holidays by featuring Louisiana oysters and bacon. For additional recipe ideas also visit Louisiana Kitchen and Culture Magazine.
- 2 quarts shucked Louisiana oysters, in liquor
- 4 quarts unsalted chicken broth
- 1 pound thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Creole seasoning
- green onions, for garnish
Method of Preparation:
Drain oysters through a fine mesh strainer, straining liquor into a stock pot; cover raw oysters and chill until needed. Place oyster liquor over medium heat; bring to a low boil and simmer until liquid has reduced by half, while skimming away all foam that gathers on the surface.
Add chicken broth, bring to a low boil, remove from heat, and keep warm until needed.
Brown bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove bacon and reserve. Measure ½ cup bacon grease in skillet, adding cooking oil if needed. Add onions to hot grease; sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with flour; stir well to break up any lumps. Reduce heat to medium and cook until dark brown, while stirring often to prevent burning, about 10 to 20 minutes.
Add celery, bell pepper, garlic, and reserved bacon; sauté 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup warm broth while stirring vigorously; repeat 3 times until roux has dissolved. Add remaining broth and stir until mixture is well blended. Bring to a low boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring often along bottom to prevent roux from settling. Skim away fat and foam that accumulate on the surface.
Taste gumbo; adjust flavor with Creole seasoning. Add reserved oysters; stir well. Return to a low boil for 2 minutes while stirring; remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Serve gumbo hot, with rice and French bread. Garnish with green onions.
Makes about 1 gallon. Serves 8 to 10.