Most popular in the state of Louisiana, gumbo is a savory dish with origins in Africa. Traditional gumbo consists of a number of ingredients, including meat, seafood, vegetables and stock. It is typically made with three types of meat and thickened with a roux to give it a fuller texture. Learn how to make gumbo at home and have a hearty, delicious meal that family and friends will love.
Choosing Ingredients for Gumbo
Gumbo is a wonderful mixture of meat and vegetables. The meats used most often are chicken, beef and shrimp. However, you can make your own recipe using pork too. Most cooks find using chicken breasts and smoked sausages easier and tastier. Common vegetables are okra, onions, bell peppers and celery. Sassafras leaves are commonly ground into a powder, which is then used to thicken gumbo. Using this powder is completely optional.
How to Make Gumbo
- 3-4 chicken breasts or thighs skinless
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lbs. sausage smoked
- ½ cup flour all-purpose
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 2 small onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 quart of beef stock
- 14 ounce can of pureed tomatoes
- 10 ounces or 2 cups okra frozen
- ½ lbs. shrimp peeled
- Once you have all your ingredients ready, it’s time to learn how to make gumbo. Start by cutting chicken breasts in half, the sausages into ½ - ¼ inch slices and okra into thin slices as well.
- Add olive oil to a large pan and place over medium-high heat. While it warms up, sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper on chicken breasts. Add the chicken and brown it. Remove it and set it aside. Brown the sausages as well and remove from pan.
- Add the flour into the pan of oil and follow with adding half of the butter. Reduce heat to medium and brown the ingredients, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and allow the roux mixture to cool.
- Place the pan back on the stove plate, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the rest of the butter, as well onions, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the stock, adding the chicken breasts and sausage slices back into the pan. Turn up the heat just until the mixture boils and then lower heat for it to simmer. Allow to cook for 40-45 minutes before adding the pureed tomatoes and okra. Allow to simmer for another hour and add shrimp right before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired
How to Make Gumbo Cooking Tips
To strengthen the flavor of the gumbo, you can add ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce just before adding the stock. You can also replace the stock with 4 cups of plain water and 3-4 bouillon cubes. Green onions and parsley can add flavor if sprinkled into gumbo before serving. Serve with brown or wild rice.