Rock and Roll Recipe: Gumbo Time


Ooh, baby, it’s cold outside!  In Texas that means it’s about 53 degrees, and a warm front is going to blow back from the Gulf tomorrow, kickin’ everything up to about 75.   Hey, we take what winter we can get.  Anyway, let’s dig out a deep pot and make some gumbo today.

Gumbo is, of course, that stew-like dish popular in South Louisiana and crummy restaurants across the country.  Although it apparently originated in New Orleans, gumbo is most closely associated with the Cajuns of South Louisiana – like my mother from Catahoula and my dad from Cecilia.  Those folks used to make gumbo that was thicker than Atchafalaya Basin swamp water.  I don’t know how they did it – our good friend Dr. Michael DeBakey (from Lake Charles, La.) used to insist the secret to good, thick gumbo was okra.  And he lived to be 99 years old and was pretty much always right, so who knows?

OK, let’s get started.  The important thing about gumbo is that it always needs a roux.  This is made by melting equal parts butter and flour (about 2 tablespoons each) and heating it up until it’s chocolate brown.  I just buy the stuff pre-made in a jar (Douget’s Rice Milling company makes a fine roux).   Once you got this goin’, the rest of it comes together like this:

Chicken, 2 1/2 to 3-pound cut up, or boneless chicken cooked

Sausage (that packaged stuff in the supermarket is fine)

1 1/2 quarts water or chicken stock

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Put your roux, water, veggies and seasonings in a deep pot.  Heat it all up to boiling, toss in the meat and simmer it for about five beers.  Serve this on hot rice.   MMMM!

Maybe my recipe leaves a lot to be desired.  You image002can go to Tabasco’s website or to Chef Paul Prudhomme’s site for a more detailed recipe.  That would help, because you certainly need Tabasco hot sauce and Chef Paul seasoning on your gumbo.  You might want to have a Gumbo Queen (pictured) like they used to have in Bridge City, Texas, at their annual Gumbo Festival.  Hurricane Ike really did a number on that town so they might not have another festival for a while. 

You can put anything you want in or on gumbo – I’ve seen people make gumbo with goose, duck, fish, rattlesnake, etc.  If you are from up north you probably want sour cream or some kind of weird sweet pickle relish on your gumbo.  It’s all c’est bon.   You can play this music while you’re cooking, or while you are eating.

MP3: “Rad Gumbo” by Little Feat

MP3: “Ossun Two Step” by Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

MP3: “Gumbo” by Phish

MP3: “I’m A Hog For You” by Clifton Chenier

MP3: “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” by Dr. John

MP3: “Give Him Cornbread” by Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers

MP3: “Lover Of The Bayou” by Mudcrutch

MP3: “Ca Fait Chaud (Heat Down Below)” by the Bluerunners

MP3: “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” by Hank Williams

MP3: “Les Flammes D’En Fer” by Mamou

MP3: “Jolie Blonde” by Mamou


Tabasco official website

Douget’s Rice Milling company

Chef Paul Prudhomme official website

2 Responses to “Rock and Roll Recipe: Gumbo Time”

  1. Great recipe, thanks for posting this.

  2. Hi! very good recipe, thanks! Did you hear about this?

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