A Gumbo Recipe Revision

Yes, we do recipes here too. Everyone needs a distraction from politics.

This is a revision from my standard gumbo recipe that minimizes the pots you’ll need to clean.

Everybody in Louisiana has a gumbo recipe. I was deeply offended when Bon Appetit magazine did a profile on college tailgating using the LSU v. Ole Miss game from last year. Their gumbo recipe used carrots and oregano. That is horrifying.

The trinity is simple: onion, bell pepper, and celery. Carrots do not play a part in it. Neither does oregano.

Below is my recipe. I make it when the weather turns cool and keep making it through Mardi Gras. If you want a seafood gumbo, leave out the chicken and sausage. Do everything else in the recipe. Add your uncooked seafood after the okra. It’ll cook in the gumbo and add a greater depth of flavor. When I make it with seafood, I use crab, shrimp, and crawfish.

This recipe is spicy, but you may want to add more cayenne (I usually do) after the gumbo has rested a few hours. The taste and heat will change. That is one reason I recommend never using a hot andouille. It will impact the heat over a few hours.

Erick Erickson’s Basic Gumbo
Prep Time: Servings: 12 Servings


1 pk Andouille Sausage; Don’t use spicy andouille. (I use Savoie’s andouille)
1 md yellow onion; finely chopped
3 st Celery; finely chopped
1 lg Bell Pepper; finely chopped
4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
2 ts Minced Garlic; heaping
3 bo Beer
1 c Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
3 Bay Leaves
1 tb Salt
1 tb Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
64 oz Chicken Stock; Heat 32 oz in microwave to boiling
2 tb Vegetable Oil
2 c Frozen Okra; chopped
1 c Rice
2 c Water


1. Chop all vegetables finely. Slice the sausage into no more than 1/4 inch discs. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks.

2. Open first beer. Put chicken stock in microwave, heat it, then set beside the dutch oven. Set on medium heat and add 1 cup of oil. Coat the bottom of the dutch oven. Sprinkle in the flour. Begin drinking the beer.

3. Stir constantly with a whisk for 20 minutes. Continue throughout drinking beer. After second beer is consumed, check to see that the roux is the color of a copper penny. If not, proceed to third beer and keep whisking. Do not go beyond 30 minutes.

4. When roux is the color of a well used copper penny, add the sausage and stir with a spoon. The sausage should begin to curl around the edges. When that happens add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Add seasonings, bay leaves, and garlic. Stir for a minute to brown the garlic.

5. Add the chicken and keep stirring until the chicken is mostly white on the outside. Add the chicken stock. First pour in the preheated stock. Then add the additional. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

6. After an hour heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add okra. Heat until edges begin to brown, the stickiness is reduced, and seeds pop. Add to gumbo. At this point the gumbo is ready. If you want to add seafood, bring the gumbo to a boil, add the seafood, reduce heat to low again, and stir frequently for five minutes until the seafood is cooked through. Gumbo is tastier if cooled overnight in the fridge and reheated the next day.

7. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup of rice, lightly salt, and cover for 20 minutes on low heat. Pour gumbo on top to eat.

8. Don’t eat the bay leaves.

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Erick Erickson

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