Gumbo is a spicy stew from South Louisiana, USA, consisting of meats or shellfish, vegetables, herbs and spices. The stew uses a mixture of fat and flour called a Roux to thicken it.
There are many different types of Gumbo. Gumbo from New Orleans, a city in Louisiana renowned for its Mardi Gras celebration and Jazz, is known as Creole Gumbo. Creole Gumbo is influenced by French cuisine and contains tomatoes. The roux is made from butter and flour.
Cajun Gumbo refers to gumbo from the countryside areas of Southwest Louisiana. It does not contain tomatoes and uses roux made from animal fats or oil. It usually contains chicken.
Meat Gumbos are more popular in inland areas. In areas along the coast, gumbo usually contains a combination of seafood like fish, crab, shrimp and oysters. It’s not uncommon to find gumbo which contains both meat and seafood together and some Gumbos are even made with beer. Gumbo is usually served with rice.
Origin and Cultural Significance
Louisiana Gumbo is believed to have come from West Africa through the slave trade and influenced by the cuisines of the Indigenous Native American Indians, French and Spanish settlers and Caribbean refugees. While some other Southern states have some variation of Gumbo, they are no where as widely known or consumed as Louisiana Gumbo. It is the official state dish.
Cajun Gumbo Recipe
- All-purpose flour – 1 heaped cup
- Vegetable oil – 2/3 cup
- Celery, diced with leaves included – 1 bunch
- Green bell pepper, diced – 1 whole
- Yellow onion, diced – 1 whole
- Green onion, finely chopped – 1 bunch
- Parsley leaves, finely chopped – 1 bunch
- Garlic cloves – 3
- Cajun seasoning - 2 Tbsp
- Chicken broth - 8 cups
- Andouille sausages, sliced into coins – 12 oz
- Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- Shrimps, precooked – 2 cups
- Cooked White rice for serving
1. In a large, heavy bottom stock pot combine flour and oil.
2. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 30-45 minutes until it is dark but not burnt. The consistency should be similar to cookie dough. Add flour or oil as needed to reach the right consistency.
1. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet on medium-high heat place the sausage slices in one layer in the pan.
2. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then flip each over onto the other side to brown. Remove to a plate.
3. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth to the hot skillet that had the sausage to deglaze the pan.
4. Pour the broth and drippings from the sausage pan into a large soup pot.
5. Add remaining 5 ½ cups of chicken broth.
6. Add veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well.
7. Boil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.)
8. Stir in cajun seasoning.
9. Add the cooked chicken, sausage, and shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Add more seasonings like salt, pepper, chicken bouillon paste, garlic, more chicken broth until you reach the perfect flavor.
Serve warm over rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 3042mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g