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Definition: A thick soup/stew made with meat or seafood, served over plain rice. It can be thickened with roux, okra, or file'. File' is a powder made from ground sassafras leaves and definitely an aqquired taste. I prefer to think of gumbo as a mixture. The old Cajuns made it to use leftovers to keep them from spoiling. Mom always used roux and file' and sometimes okra also depending on what type of gumbo she was making. File' was not used in seafood gumbo, only in chicken and andouille, or duck and other wild game. If she used okra she did not use file'. She also did not use andouille in her chicken and okra or shrimp and okra gumbo. Basically, it just depends on what you like and what flavors you like to taste together. I have eaten it with everything in it, chicken, shrimp, okra, roux, file', chicken livers and gizzards, and probably a few things I had no idea of. Most people make it during the winter, I make it whenever I get the ahnvee for one.
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I make Chicken Gumbo I use roux and file'.I really do like this gumbo but don't care for seafood that way.
When I first moved to LA from Chicago way back in 1969, I bought a cookbook. First thing I saw was, First you make a roux. Right then I knew I was in big trouble.
I think most Cajun recipes start with that, maybe that's why jar roux is so popular. LOL
OK, what's ahnvee?
Ahnvee is a Cajun word for a hankering or a craving.
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