Tapioca Roux-t Grain-Free Gumbo

I started with skinless chicken thighs to make the soup base/stock (1 1/2 onions, celery with leaves, 2 carrots, salt, peppercorns, 1 bay leaf and a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar). I let this cook a couple of hours.

Then I removed the bones and put them into another pot with some of the stock to make a good bone broth for later. I set the chicken into the fridge for later.

I added some of the broth to the Vitamix with about 6 baby bella mushrooms and made a smooth paste-like soup and added back into the main pot. This is mostly where the dark color comes from.

Since this was my first try at this dish, I decided to try to brown some tapioca flour - it worked for the most part, but didn't take nearly as long as traditional flour would have. But I only used about 1 tablespoon. After browning a bit, I added it to the main pot along with another tablespoon (not browned) just to attempt to give it a somewhat thickened consistency.

So I cut up another onion, 1 bell pepper*, 2 - 3 cloves garlic*, 2 TBS fresh parsley and 1 stalk celery and cooked them until tender in some olive oil. Added that with a few chopped tomatoes (canned will do, if necessary - just watch out for added ingredients).

By now it was all coming together. Since we don't hunt or even know a butcher instead of Andouille sausage I used some fresh breakfast sausage from a local farm co-op that didn't use any nitrates or MSG. And along with this added the crab and cooked for at least 30 minutes, but most likely longer. I started this whole ordeal around 10 am, but now it was around 3 pm.

At 4 pm when my youngest (the real shrimp and crab lover) arrived home, she cleaned and peeled the shrimp, and we added them about 4:30 pm. Yet I had forgotten the most important part....C-R-A-C-K-E-R-S! (My son's first word of which I have mixed feelings...since he has to avoid GLUTEN.) Yet, he didn't even have any desire for me to fuss with attempting to make a gluten-free cracker, he just opted for a bit of plain rice.

But for the others, I didn't want them to go without. YET, even more important is that my main goal is to feed them food without preservatives, I made some crackers using Einkorn wheat (supposedly the ancient wheat grain that hasn't been hybridized like our modern variety).

Success! Everyone enjoyed it.

Oh, I didn't add the okra to the pot. Instead, I cooked them separately with tomatoes and onions and I just added them to my own portion of gumbo.

www.realfoodanddrinks.com November 12, 2013