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Louisiana gumbo


This was before I added the Gumbo File.

It is a compulsive habit of mine to adjust every recipe I make.  When my friend Travis gave me his recipe for Gumbo, I wondered at his omission of okra, which I thought was a Gumbo staple.  I’m glad I did some internet research first, because apparently there is a rule against adding okra and filé (dried, ground sassafras leaves) in the same batch of gumbo.  It should be made with one or the other, and okra should be cooked with the gumbo, whereas filé is added at the table.  Hmm.  Who knew?

These are the ingredients I used.

I also figured out that there are many varieties of Gumbo, but there seem to be some rules that I simply can’t work out, so I don’t think I’ll attempt any variations of this recipe.  It isn’t needed, and I don’t want to risk being un-authentic!  Travis was born and raised near Lake Charles, Louisiana and I defer to his culinary expertise when it comes to all things Cajun (Gumbo and Crawfish Boils, to name a few).  Travis has graciously shared his recipe with us; I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!  I’m serving it again tomorrow for company!

Simmer at least 30 minutes, more if possible.

  Travis McGuire’s Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

1 Rotisserie chicken from grocery store (any flavor except BBQ or Lemon will do)
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 bay leaves
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart water (I used more chicken broth instead)
1 package of seasoning from chicken flavored Ramen noodles
3 tbsp. dark Roux (on seasonings isle, looks like very dark natural peanut butter)
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup green onions, chopped
Tony Chacere’s seasoning to taste (at least 1 tbsp.)
Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste (at least 1 tbsp.)
Gumbo filé to taste
1.5 cups Zatarain’s rice

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and Tony's seasoning.  Saute for about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock, water, and Ramen seasoning; bring to a boil.  Add roux and stir constantly until completely dissolved.  Caution:  If roux sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns, throw everything out and start over! Add sausage, chicken (de-boned) and Louisiana hot sauce.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20-30 minutes.  The longer, the better as the flavors will develop over time.  Serve topped with green onions, gumbo filé, and serve over rice.

“What is New Orleans? New Orleans is Creole gumbo, filé gumbo, cowan gumbo, chicken gumbo, smoked sausage gumbo, hot sausage gumbo, onion gumbo.”

— Kermit Ruffins, New Orleans vocalist and trumpeter


  • Korey 5 years ago

    Wow that actually sounds easier than I would have thought,and that is a lot of stuff to put in it!

  • Carol 5 years ago

    My work colleague Michelle is from New Orleans so I showed her this article. She confirms you don't use the file and okra at the same time. She said it's because both are thickeners and if you use both at the same time your gumbo will be too thick. She also said she has known Kermit Ruffins (whom you quoted) since elementary school! It's a small gumbo world.

  • Profile picture of Katie Sechrist
    Katie Sechrist 4 years ago

    That is interesting! I suppose if you wanted to use both okra and file, you could always just add more broth?

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