Recipe: Southern-style gumbo with rice and smoked paprika-dusted fried okra, by Brandon Kealoha

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I have always loved Cajun and southern cuisine. I developed this recipe several years ago, and it has become one of my favorite meals to prepare both at the restaurant and at home.

Southern Style Gumbo with Rice and Smoked Paprika Dusted Fried Okra

4 boneless/skinless chicken thighs

4 Andouille sausage links

8 prawns (16/20 size)

8 large Scallops

2 red bell peppers, roasted on a grill and then diced

2 medium yellow onions-diced

½ stalk celery-diced

1 cup Brandy

2 tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 tablespoons Blackening spice (divided)

1-gallon Chicken stock

1 cup All-purpose flour

½ pound unsalted butter

2 cups breaded okra (available in the frozen food section of many grocery stores)

Smoked paprika

2 cups hot Basmati rice

Generously coat the chicken thighs with the blackening spice and place on a hot grill along with the Andouille sausage until cooked through. Sauté the bell peppers, onion and celery with the remaining blackening spice over in a large sauté pan over medium high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until golden. Add the tomato paste and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add the brandy and deglaze the pany, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits from the pan. Add the chicken stock, grilled chicken and sausage and simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate sauce pan cook the butter and flour together to create a rue. Still constantly until the mixture is chocolate in color and smells like popcorn. Add to the chicken stock mixture, simmer an additional 10 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add the shrimp and scallops, cook 5-6 more minutes until shrimp and scallops are cooked through.

Pan fry the breaded okra and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Place a half cup of rice on a plate, add gumbo and garnish with a few pieces of the fried okra.

Brandon Kealoha joined Js’ Old Town Bistro in March of this year. He was previously the executive chef at 1862 Wally’s Hot Springs Resort and at the Genoa Lakes Golf and Country Club. Kealoha is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Js’ Old Town Bistro is located on the Corner of Pike and Main Streets in Dayton.


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