Editor’s note: This reader recipe is an online addition to our November 2020 cover story, “Taste and see.”
Authentic New Orleans gumbo
by Maud Jeannie Parker
Gumbo is my favorite New Orleans dish from childhood. We had a really fun neighbor while living in New Orleans who made a fantastic homemade gumbo. We would enjoy her delicious homemade cuisine especially around the holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day—and many days in between. This love for New Orleans-style gumbo has followed me into my adulthood since I moved to Atlanta in 2005 and later joined the city’s Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
I have enjoyed savoring this authentic New Orleans dish many times over.
Gumbo can be enjoyed alone or with family and friends. It combines the best of textures and spices and provides the comforts of home and togetherness with those around you, which gives it full flavor. Gumbo can be prepared with chicken or seafood; however, I love both.
There are many ways to eat gumbo. I prefer to put my rice in the center of the bowl, scooping out the heart of the cuisine filled with a variety of meats and seafood. Then I gather the flavor-filled liquids to cover the rice and add my secret side dish, potato salad, to give it an extra kick.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 green bell pepper, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1/2 white onion, diced small
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
5 fresh okra, cut into rounds (optional)
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into rounds
1 1/2 cup seafood broth4 cups chicken broth
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
fresh chopped parsley
Chicken bouillon paste
Cajun seasoning, such as Joe’s Stuff Creole Seasoning
prepared rice, for serving
Tabasco sauce, for serving
- Make the roux. In a large pot, combine flour and oil and cook, stirring constantly on medium-low heat. You have to be careful to stir it constantly, so that you don’t burn it. The darker the roux, the richer the flavor!
- Chop the celery, onions, green bell pepper and add to roux. You can also add okra, if you want. Add it at the same time as the other vegetables.
- Brown the sausage. Spread the sausage in a single layer on a hot, large skillet. Once browned, flip each one over individually, to make sure they all get nice and brown on both sides.
- Add to large pot. Add broth, veggies, chopped parsley, bay leaves and roux to the pot and stir well. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in Cajun seasoning, to taste.
- Add meat. Add chicken, sausage and shrimp, and taste. Add more seasonings to your liking–salt, pepper, cayenne, chicken bouillon paste (to taste), garlic, more Cajun seasoning or more broth–until you reach the perfect flavor.
- Serve warm over hot cooked rice. This recipe tastes even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to blend. If you’re really wanting to go all out, serve it with a side of homemade potato salad!
Find more reader recipes by clicking the “recipes” tag below.