Gumbo is one of those dishes that seems to have as many varieties as the people who make it.  This one recipe has been the only gumbo I’ve ever made.  It can be made fairly quickly, or simmered all day.  Served over rice, it’s a complete meal.  It freezes great. I often make up a huge stock pot of it, so we can eat it for a day or two then freeze the rest. It’s written on this tattered and torn piece of paper that has cooking splatter, and taped-up rips all over it.  Before it becomes a figment of my imagination, never to be found again, I will add it here.

The secret to a great gumbo is the roux.  This will make it or break it.  Cooked too little, your gumbo will lack taste at best and carry the taste of raw flour at worst.  Cooked at too high a temperature or for too long, and it won’t thicken your gumbo and will carry over a burnt taste.  If you burn the roux, toss it and start over.  A good, dark, non-burnt roux is essential to a delicious gumbo.


  • 1/3c all purpose flour
  • 1/3c vegetable oil
  • 1/2c onion
  • 1/2c green pepper
  • 1/2c sliced celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2ts cajun seasoning
  • 1-14oz beef broth
  • 3/4c water
  • 1-10 oz. bag of frozen okra (or fresh, of course)
  • 1-1/2c cooked chicken, cubed/shredded
  • 8oz smoked sausage, quartered and sliced
  • 3c cooked rice


  1. In a pot, begin heating the vegetable oil. Cook over medium-high heat about 5 minutes.
  2. Once hot, add the flour and whisk until well combined.  Continue cooking over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes stirring frequently until it is a dark, reddish brown.
  3. In a separate skillet, brown the sausage.
  4. Remove browned sausage and begin cooking vegetables, except okra, until soft.  Add the garlic at the end.
  5. Add chicken and sausage to the roux, along with the rest of the seasonings, liquids and okra.
  6. Add vegetables to the roux mixture.  Heat until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice.

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