Take your gumbo up a notch by making your own stock with shrimp shells and vegetables. Freeze any leftover stock up to three months.
How to Make It
1. Prepare the stock: Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover shrimp, and refrigerate.
2. Combine reserved shrimp shells, 8 cups water, peppercorns, garlic, celery, bay leaves, carrots, and onion in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 3 cups stock; keep warm. Reserve the remaining shrimp stock for another use.
3. Prepare the gumbo: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over low; add 1/4 cup oil. Cook 2 minutes, swirling to coat pan. Gradually add flour to oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium; cook 8 minutes or until flour mixture is caramel-colored, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture is chestnut-colored, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; slowly add warm shrimp stock, stirring until smooth. Pour stock mixture into a large bowl.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add onion, Creole seasoning, garlic, celery, tomato, and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Return stock mixture to pan; add broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add okra, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Combine shrimp and paprika; toss to coat shrimp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir shrimp into okra mixture. Discard bay leaves. Serve over rice.
Also appeared in: Cooking Light, September, 2021,Soups & Stews