Kitchen Vacation: Gumbo Z’herbes

In but a few short months, it will be spring in Chicago (no I am not kidding with that). Time to start thinking about how big your ass has gotten over the winter and maybe dream about a place that is actually warm at this time of year. So we’re going to New Orleans for some gumbo. I know, gumbo doesn’t normally strike one as being healthy, but despite the butter this one comes in at around 300 calories a serving. And it’s delicious.

I put chicken thighs in pretty much everything I cook, so if you want the original, vegetarian recipe, head over to Chow. Also I have issues with green peppers so I use red, but you can pick your own poison there. A nice scoop of rice on top is heavenly but completely optional.

Gumbo Z’herbes

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 red peppers, chopped

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 lb chicken thighs

  • 1 large bunch of kale, chopped

  • 1 package frozen spinach (10 oz)

  • 1.5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, OR

    • .5 tablespoon paprika

    • .5 teaspoons black pepper

    • .5 teaspoons white pepper

    • .75 teaspoons garlic powder

    • .75 teaspoons onion powder

    • pinch teaspoon thyme

    • cayenne to taste

  1. Melt butter in a thick-bottomed pot and add flour to form a roux. Stir until darkened, about the color of peanut butter. Don’t leave this unattended or you will be sorry.

  2. Add the onions, peppers, and celery. Cook until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and spices and cook an additional few minutes. I usually give the onions a head start because I cannot abide the slightest bit of crunch in an onion.

  3. Add chicken and 2 cups water. Add the kale a handful at a time, waiting until the last handful wilts down to add more. Depending on how cooked you want your kale to be, cook the chicken for an hour before adding the kale.

  4. Simmer until the chicken starts to fall apart, about 2 hours. Stir spinach in before serving. Add salt to taste (premixed Cajun seasoning will contain salt).

Serves 4-5, appox. 300 calories per serving.

Adapted from Chow, also seen on Vintage Kitchen.

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One thought on “Kitchen Vacation: Gumbo Z’herbes

  1. Sorry for the lack of photo, but I have what is quite possibly the most unappetizing photo of food ever. It basically looks like swampwater with rice on top, which is not at all an accurate portrayal of how delicious this dish is.

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