Jeff’s Louisiana Gumbo

February 24, 2014


Just in time for Mardi Gras, Dr. Jeff is back with another Louisiana recipe for y’all! You can read more about Jeff and his experience cookin’ in NOLA in his Jambalaya post. He joined us on a Saturday night a few weeks ago for a little bit of beer and a lot of conversation. Or was it a little bit of conversation and a lot of beer?


We decided on a chicken + sausage gumbo (and maybe we’ll do a seafood one soon!) Matt and I picked up the chicken and some sausage and made rice, and Jeff brought over the fancy ingredients and the roux.


And his signature bag of onions!


He made the roux at home because we didn’t want to eat dinner at 10pm. Gumbo is not a “easy weeknight dinner” (although the leftovers were!) Rather, it’s historically made on the weekend with all of the leftover meat bits and veggies from the week. Roux making is often described in terms of beer consumption instead of time. Jeff said his took about 2 beers to finish Smile It was nice and toasty brown. Once the roux is made, the recipe is really quite simple.


Two other key ingredients Jeff brought were Abita’s Turbodog and Gumbo Filé (pronounced “fee-lay”). The filé is ground sassafras and was used both in the dish and as a garnish on top. It smelled like Earl Gray tea!


Let the cooking commence…



We were pretty hungry after two hours of simmering, and as much as Jeff wanted to keep letting this bad boy bubble away, we decided it was time to eat.


I had made a big cooker of rice on the side, which I learned is best served as a garnish on top rather than the base of the gumbo.


We filled our bowls with gumbo, added some scoops of rice, sprinkled on the filé and then garnished with some of Jeff’s super spicy homemade hot sauce


And of course enjoyed it with a few kinds of beer!


The gumbo was fantastic. I’d consider it a “fancier” recipe than the jambalaya we had last time, but I honestly can’t tell you which one I liked best. I’m leaning towards the jambalaya, actually, only because the gumbo was super rich! But boy was it good.


Jeff’s Louisiana Gumbo


Ingredients (A huge pot (maybe 6-10 serving)

  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage) cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 pound boneless/skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (Such as Tony Chachere’s)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 oz Turbo Dog beer (or other dark beer)
  • 14.5 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 oz. frozen cut okra
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • Hot sauce


Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot. Add the sausage and cook until well browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Season the chicken with Salt and pepper and add in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 30 to 45 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. (Two beers worth of time) : )

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, creole seasoning, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly add the beer, chicken stock, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Add the reserved chicken and frozen cut okra to the pot and simmer for 1 hour, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley, and file powder. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Ladle gumbo into deep bowls or large cups and spoon rice on top


Thanks for another great dinner Jeff!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

Looks delicious!

I wonder if I could talk the Mr into the standing there and stirring for 30-45 minutes part or it might just be the recipe to justify buying that robo stirring contraption. :)


2 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! February 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

What a great, hearty meal! Perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having up north!


3 Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness February 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

Love this! Company that loves to cook is always the best kind! It makes entertaining so much more fun. We have a friend that loves to cook and it’s always fun to have him over. We made Jeff’s Jambalaya a few weeks ago and it was SO good! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

Have a great Monday :)


4 KathEats February 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

Glad you liked it!


5 Becky February 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

I can make a roux in less than 20 minutes – I use peanut oil, which has a much higher tolerance of heat. I do the roux on one burner while starting the gumbo on another. By the time my I’m ready to add the roux, it’s that lovely dark shade of chocolate brown. Although it still does need a good hour or three of simmering before serving.


6 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

oh my gosh, that looks amazing! I’ve only had real gumbo once. A friend of mine went to Tulane and one winter break when he was back he decided to make gumbo for a few of us. His had sausage and shrimp and was so good!


7 Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 24, 2014 at 8:56 am

I love gumbo but have never tried to make it myself! This recipe looks great!


8 Jess @ The Baguette Diet February 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

This looks delicious! I love creole food but can’t eat seafood, it’s so nice to see a Louisiana recipe without shrimp.I definitely need to make some friends with cooking skills like Jeff!


9 Valerie February 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

Love this recipe. I tried gumbo in NOLA almost every day for a week. Can’t wait to try. The kitchen should smell like a NO restaurant!


10 Laurie Sayeed February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am

Thanks Kath, you’re the best!


11 Leslee @ Her Happy Balance February 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

Just pinned this! I LOVE southern/cajun/NOLA cooking so this is going to the top of my “must cook” list. I never knew about Gumbo file until this post, definitely checking it out.


12 Jackie February 24, 2014 at 11:22 am

Love this! It looks like a fun meal to entertain with!


13 [email protected] February 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I remember the last gumbo post!!! Just like last time,this looks so tasty. I might need to celebrate with this recipe tonight.


14 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog February 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Yum! I love gumbo! I usually make it in the crockpot and then it can become a “quick” weeknight meal. I’m sure it’s not as authentic or fancy as Jeff’s, but it gets the job done in a pinch!


15 Allison February 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I need to try this one. We are Cajun and we always have shrimp gumbo on Christmas Eve and a fee other times throughout the year. It’s not hard, just time consuming.


16 Livi February 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm

my roommate made Louisiana gumbo for a mardi gras celebration last week– so delicious!


17 Jeri February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

menu planning: Saturday – Gumbo


18 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs February 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Ooooh, this looks absolutely delicious!


19 Tracy February 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I would love to have Jeff’s super spicy homemade hot sauce!!


20 Sarah March 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made this last night and it was AMAZING! I used an Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout and my own homemade chicken stock that I pulled from the freezer. It was so perfectly rich and flavorful!


21 Laura May 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Made this tonight for my husband’s birthday! I was worried about burning my roux so I think I had the heat too low for most of it, and long story short, I spent TWO HOURS last night stirring my roux (while watching a movie on my ipad on the kitchen counter!) and finally gave up while it was still only a caramel brown, not nearly as dark as chocolate. But the final result was still rich and delicious! I grew up in New Orleans so this was a familiar meal to me, but not to my husband’s family (we live in Chicago), so it was fun to serve them something new. My ten year old nephew even had seconds!


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