How to make it

  • For the roux: Blend flour and oil thoroughly in a thick skillet and cook over medium-high to high heat, stirring CONSTANTLY. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BURN IT!! If you see black specks in the roux, you've screwed it up. Dump it out and start over. Keep cooking and stirring until the roux gets darker and darker. It's best to use a very heavy bot or skillet for roux-making, especially cast iron. With a good cast iron Dutch oven or skillet, you can get a beautiful dark roux in only about 20 minutes.
  • You should turn the fire down or off as the roux nears the right color, because the heat from the pan will continue cooking it. You can also add your onions, bell peppers and celery to the roux as it's near the end of cooking to arrest the cooking process and to soften the vegetables (this is the way I like to do it). KEEP STIRRING until the roux is relatively cool. Add the roux to the stock.
  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces with Creole seasoning and brown in the oven. Slice the sausage and brown, pouring off all the fat (especially if you're using fresh Creole hot sausage).
  • Sauté the onions, green onions, bell pepper and celery if you haven't already added them to the roux, and add to the stock. Add the chicken and sausage(s). Add the bay leaves and Creole seasoning (or ground peppers) to taste and stir. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer; let simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep tasting and adjusting seasonings as needed.
  • Add the okra and cook another 30 minutes or so. Make sure that the "ropiness" or "stringiness" from the okra is gone, add the parsley, crab halves and claws (if you're using them). Cook for another 15 minutes, then add the shrimp (and if you've omitted the hard-shell crabs, add the lump crabmeat now). Give it another 6-8 minutes or so, until the shrimp are just done, turning pink. Be very careful not to overcook the shrimp; adding the shrimp should be the very last step.
  • If there is any fat on the surface of the gumbo, try to skim off as much of it as possible.
  • Serve generous amounts in bowls over about 1/2 cup of hot rice -- claws, shells, bones and all (if you've made the original "rustic" version). Remember that the rice goes in the bowl first, and it is not an optional step, despite the trend among some New Orleans restaurants to serve a riceless gumbo.
  • You may, if you like, sprinkle a small amount of gumbo filé in your individual serving for a little more flavor; just remember that if you're making a filé gumbo, it should be added to the pot off the fire for its proper thickening action.

Reviews & Comments 11

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  • CajunJoel 2 years ago
    Well, I have been cooking gumbo for 40 years.Born and raised in New Orleans. First thing to know is know your thickeners. Okra is a thickener and your roux is a thickener. The darker your roux, the more the roux has to cook. The more your roux cooks, the less thickening power that it retains, so be mindful of your ratio of stock.

    I normally do a New Orleans Seafood gumbo and rarely use chicken stock. I opt for a seafood stock consisting of boiling the leftover parts from the celery, bell pepper, garlic and onions shrimp shells, a slap of fish filet and cleaned crush live crabs smashed with a meat tenderizer (leaving remaining crab halves for the gumbo itself. I use shrimp, sausage and crabmeat in my gumbo. A good strainer is highly recommended for this.

    Also, after cooking your roux, I put the onions in the roux first before any of the other trinity. The onions release natural sugars and this is a very good thing for your roux.
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  • WilliamsCreekTradingCompany 5 years ago
    We are in a contest this coming week end and this recipe is what we will be using.. ;)
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  • joni4101 7 years ago
    Absolutely the best I have ever tasted! Can't wait to make it for my family!
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  • leeo 7 years ago
    great recipe ive been on my vacation to us just had week at pensacola couldnt get enough try this recipe great im going to try to make in uk might need to change few bits hope still as good thanks lee uk
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  • FatDaddy 8 years ago
    Absolutely wonderful! This dish explodes with layers of flavors that keeps you coming back for seconds......and thirds......and
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    " It was excellent "
    Teflon_Chef ate it and said...
    Thanks for the recipe! Great reminder and guide making this dish all the way in France! Used chicken, smoked sausage and mussels. Yum.
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  • ginaw 9 years ago
    This is really good. I have made it 4 times and it is better each time I make it. This time I made it, I thru in some scallops. Yummmmmmmm. Thanks for the recipe
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    " It was excellent "
    trev ate it and said...
    It just can't get any better, can it? This one is on for the weekend. A great recipe with all the finer details included. Thanks
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    " It was excellent "
    valinkenmore ate it and said...
    This is the way I remember my mother making gumbo. Thanks so much for a tremendous recipe. I can't wait to make it for my husband.
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  • mslturner34 11 years ago
    I just finished my New Years dinner and OMG. This gumbo was so good. My husband had never had gumbo before and he was lovin it. My kids had never had it either and they all cleaned their bowls dry. Thanks for the tasty recipe!
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  • chocolategrits 12 years ago
    Excellent! I found this recipe online, too, and thought it was the best I'd seen. It's just like my cajun grandma makes, except that she makes a dry roux rather than an oil-based roux. I made it on Monday (with the dry roux and no okra, only because I didn't have any).
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  • zena824 12 years ago
    This is awesome......Great.... Thanks for the post... I used to live in new Orleans with my grandmother....I love they way those folks cook...
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