June 1, 2021
Submitted by Rhonda Gurinsky
Jewish Journal: Rhonda, you’re from Louisiana, is that right?
Rhonda: Yes, I am from Louisiana and we build gatherings around a big pot of gumbo! We love to celebrate all occasions so we are either grilling or I am making a big pot of gumbo and salad!
JJ: Do you have a favorite memory surrounding Jewish food?
Rhonda: My favorite memory is from when the kids were little at Hanukkah time. Hanukkah always fell during our busiest time of the year. We would have one big family night and the other nights I would take the 4 kids to the store for Hanukkah with Daddy. They would each pick a present to open with daddy, a pan of potato latkes, candles and we would light the candles with Charlie. The staff loved getting to eat potato latkes and most of our customers would show up at that hour!! Needless to say, my platter got bigger and bigger.
Enjoy a page from Rhonda’s family recipe box:
KOSHER CHICKEN GUMBO
2 pounds chicken thighs
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, quartered
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup flour
1 large onion, diced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley or 3 Tbs dried parsley
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, (Creole seasonings are not created equal so adjust to taste)
4-5 cups steamed white rice, traditional but optional
liquid hot pepper sauce, optional
4 cups fresh okra, trimmed or 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen okra
1. Place chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 6 cups cold water. Add 2 bay leaves and the quartered onion. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, for one hour until chicken almost falls off the bone. Remove from heat and discard onion and bay leaves. Remove chicken and set aside.*
2. In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and make a roux. (to make a roux: cook oil and flour together about 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly and slowly with a whisk until it turns very dark brown, almost between brown and black.)
3. Add diced onions, parsley, celery, bell peppers, green onions, and garlic to the roux. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often with a large spoon until vegetables are tender.
4. Add reserved broth, salt, and Creole seasoning to the vegetables, stir well to blend and add okra. Simmer uncovered while you remove the chicken from the bone. Discard bones and skin. Add chicken to the gumbo. Lower heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Taste, add more salt, and Creole Seasoning if desired.
5. Serve soup, ladle gumbo over rice or serve with the rice in the gumbo. Add hot pepper sauce, if desired.