Everyone has their own idea of how long to cook a roux, and depending on cooking time, your roux will have a certain color. Shorter cooking will result in a butterscotch shade, longer cooking (which is harder to achieve without burning) draws a deeper, coffee color. The roux for this gumbo should resemble the color of peanut butter.
Roux can be tricky, but they are the base of a gumbo. They require patience and total attention, and cannot be rushed. As my husband Ian says, even if your house is on fire, you cannot stop stirring the roux.
Step 1: Heat 1 cup of oil or butter in a cast iron pan until it smokes. Then slowly add 1 cup of flour, stirring as added.
Step 2: Continue stirring in a constant motion (and stir slowly initially–the oil is hot and can burn if splashed before mixing completely with the flour). Within a few minutes of stirring, the mixture will begin to change in color…
When the roux is thickened to the color of peanut butter, it’s ready.
Keywords: gumbo how to make a roux