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Monday-to-Friday Gumbo

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This fiery number ought to wake up your taste buds on even the dullest of days. Make the gumbo in a double batch because it is so easy to do and so delicious to eat. As with all stews, it tastes even better the next day.

Simmering Stews: Nothing tastes quite like a stew that has been left to simmer just the right amount of time, then left to rest just the right amount of time. The texture of the ingredients are perfect and their flavors have all melded together in a wonderful potion. But, never fear, Monday-to-Friday stew recipes take into account a cook’s lack of endless simmering time. If you have extra time, great, simmer your stew a little longer. If you don’t, don’t worry. All the flavors and textures will still be perfect.

4 to 6 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 minutes

Cooking Time20 min

Cooking Methodstewing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, meaty, rich, savory

Ingredients

  • 3 scallions (green onions)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 rib celery
  • ½ bell pepper, preferably red
  • 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) small red kidney or pink beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (13¾ ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breasts
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt

Instructions

Trim and thinly slice the scallions. Finely chop the onion and the celery. Core, seed, and finely chop the pepper. Rinse and drain the beans.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the scallions, onion, bell pepper, and celery; reduce the heat to medium and stir the vegetables around with a wooden spoon until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic powder, cayenne, and thyme and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the broth and mix it in with a whisk. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the beans and spinach. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat at least 20 minutes to bring the flavors together. You can simmer this up to 1 hour; the longer the stew cooks, the more the flavors meld.

Meanwhile cut the poultry into ½-inch cubes and mince the parsley.

Right before serving, stir in the chicken and parsley; simmer until the poultry is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and serve hot.

Variations

• This becomes a spicy seafood stew by substituting 1 pound crabmeat, sea scallops, or cubed monkfish for the chicken.

• Turn the gumbo into a spicy complementary protein dish by omitting the chicken and adding another can of beans. Serve over rice, millet, quinoa, or pasta.

• Add a cup or two of vegetables, such as chopped carrots or corn kernels, with the beans and spinach, and simmer along with the other ingredients.

• Omit the frozen spinach in step 3 and add ½ pound rinsed and chopped fresh greens, such as Swiss chard, beet greens, or kale, before adding the poultry. Simmer along with the chicken.

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