Real Time Cooking: How to Make Gumbo

UPDATE: On Thanksgiving evening, I’ll take the left over turkey and use it, instead of chicken, in this recipe.

Being a native of Louisiana, gumbo is an essential part of football season and the fall. When the weather gets cool, the gumbo pot comes out and stays out pretty regularly until spring time. I often make a big pot and have our Sunday School class over after church. During December, I make both a chicken and sausage gumbo and a seafood gumbo and we have friends around the table. We also throw the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in a gumbo pot.

It is the perfect communal meal, but people get intimidated by gumbo because of the roux. What I’ve done, by multiple requests, is put together a video of making gumbo. You can follow along the roux making process in real time. I will talk you through it, we will time out the pace, and you’ll have real gumbo just like my mom and her family make.

Here’s the recipe you will need. Make sure you have all the ingredients chopped, prepped, and individual bowls. Once you start making roux you won’t be able to stop.

Erick Erickson’s Gumbo
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 90 minutes | Servings: 12 Servings


1 c Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
1 pk Andouille Sausage; Don’t use spicy andouille (Find Savoie’s)
1 md yellow onion; finely chopped
3 stalks Celery; finely chopped
1 lg Bell Pepper; finely chopped
1 tbs Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
1 tbs salt
1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 cloves Minced Garlic
4 to 6 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Bay Leaves
64 oz Chicken Stock
2 tb Vegetable Oil
2 c chopped Frozen Okra
1 c Rice
2 c Water


1. Cut sausage into rounds no thicker than 1/4 inch. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

2. Set a large dutch oven on medium heat and add oil. Sprinkle in the flour.

3. Stir constantly with a whisk for 30 minutes.

4. When roux is the color of a used copper penny, Add the sausage and, with a spoon, stir. The sausage will begin to bow in shape. When the sausage begins rendering its fat, add the vegetables and seasoning except the bay leaves, stirring constantly. After the vegetables have softened, make a well in the center of the pot, add the garlic to the well, then stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken. Stir till the chicken is mostly all white. Add the bay leaves.

5. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Note: An additional 32 ounces of chicken stock can be added for more gumbo without watering down the roux. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer on low, stirring occasionally for an hour.

6. After an hour, heat skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add okra. Heat until edges begin to brown and seeds pop. Add to gumbo, bring to a boil, and serve. But note that 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.

Notes: If you wish to add seafood to the gumbo, or in substitute of the chicken and sausage, cook this recipe and add seafood after the okra, allowing the gumbo to boil at least five minutes to cook the seafood. Shrimp, crab, oysters, and crawfish are traditional seafood additions.

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Erick Erickson

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