Firehouse Gumbo-Laya


Olive oil (regular not extra virgin)
~1 ½ pounds spicy smoked sausage (Cajun, wild game etc.), sliced
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut bite sized
~1 pound shrimp (medium/large/jumbo choice) fresh or frozen/thawed, peeled and deveined
2 heaping teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning of your choice (season dish to taste)
1 bunch celery, cut bite sized
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 large green pepper, diced
~1 pound frozen or fresh cut okra
1 small can tomato paste
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Spicy Garlic Rice (to be prepared simultaneously with Gumbo-Laya)

Olive oil (regular not extra virgin)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
4 cups medium or short grain rice
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups water


Preheat an extra-large cast iron skillet (14-16 in), Dutch oven, or pan (if using 2 burners), add a few tablespoons of olive oil to very lightly coat the bottom, add the sliced sausage and brown it over medium high heat. Drain most but not all of the sausage drippings prior to continuing. Reduce heat to medium. The subsequent ingredients will be added and each gently precooked in stages before adding the next ingredient. Next add the garlic, allow to release oils and soften. Next add the onions and allow them to caramelize lightly with the sausage, garlic and remaining drippings. Add the celery and green peppers and allow to cook until softened slightly. Add the okra, can be fresh or can be frozen. Once okra is softened slightly or mostly thawed, add the cilantro and sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning on the mixture, stir well coating the ingredients and mixing with juices. Add the small can tomato paste. Mix well and stir mixture gently for 5 minutes being careful not to let ingredients burn and stick. Add the can of diced tomatoes and 3 cups chicken broth. Bring to bubbling simmer and sprinkle other heaping teaspoon of spice mixture in and stir well. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and add cup of apple cider vinegar. Simmer another 10 minutes, test vegetables for softness, you want them to retain a very slight amount of firmness at this stage. Reduce heat to medium-low or low (you want it to steam and bubble a little bit at this point) and check to see if rice is finished up. Final stage is to add the fresh or thawed shrimp evenly into the main dish, just tucking them into the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-low, allow the mixture to simmer a little more vigorously, and observe the shrimp for color change to pink, you only want to get them to firm up enough to be cooked through, once they are fully pink, turn off the heat and prepare to serve. Spoon spicy garlic rice into bowls and top with Gumbo-Laya and sauce to desired consistency. Serve with trenchers of crusty French bread. The leftovers taste even better warmed up!