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Authentic Cajun Gumbo

I learned to cook in Louisiana and I love to cook Cajun food. This cajun gumbo recipe is one of my favorites. —Paul Morris, Kelso, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + simmering Cook: 45 min.
  • Makes
    20 servings (1-1/4 cups each)


  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 chicken (5 pounds), cut up
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 4 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fully cooked andouille sausage links, chopped
  • 2 pounds sliced okra
  • 2 pints shucked oysters
  • 3 tablespoons gumbo file powder
  • Hot cooked rice


  • Place the first 11 ingredients in a stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
  • Remove chicken and allow to cool. Strain broth, discarding vegetables; skim fat. Remove meat from bones; cut chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside. Discard bones.
  • In the same pan, cook and stir oil and flour over medium heat until caramel-colored, about 14 minutes (do not burn). Add finely chopped onion; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil.
  • Carefully stir in sausage and reserved chicken. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in okra and oysters. Simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer or just until okra is tender. Stir in file powder. Serve with rice.
Editor's Note: Gumbo file powder, used to thicken and flavor Creole recipes, is available in spice shops. If you don't want to use gumbo file powder, combine 2 tablespoons each cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into gumbo. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 319 calories, 19g fat (3g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 990mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 19g protein.

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  • James
    Feb 12, 2018

    Children, hush, file is only used when okra is not available, as in out of season. The word "gumbo" means okra. Okra is the intended thickener for gumbo. The holy trinity of garlic, onion and green peppers also thickens as it slow cooks over the hours. one can make a decent rouix in 14 minutes, no one.

  • Faerie1
    Feb 6, 2018

    Well, the word Gumbo just means a thick stew or soup. This was tasty but not what I'm used to. A big plus is that the recipe has File' in it, which gives it a distinctive flavor (hardly any Gumbo recipe has file' in it anymore)---I ONLY make File' Gumbo....gotta have that flavor! This doesn't tell a newbie why you don't cook the Gumbo with the File'----it makes the Gumbo "ropey". It's to be added at the end after you remove the pot from the burner---File' is ground Sassafrass leaves and is used as a thickener.

  • gucci65
    Mar 5, 2015

    I have to agree with they other reviews. It is very tasty but not a gumbo.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Feb 18, 2015

    More of a stew or soup than a gumbo. Not what I was looking for in a La gumbo. I will go back to my recipe and will make some on Shrove Thur. I'm giving up organic food for Lent, how about you?

  • Corsair0977
    Feb 17, 2015

    One day child, I will teach you how to make gumbo. This is a recipe, a Yankee might like.(only if they didn't know the difference)

  • paullo911
    Feb 17, 2015

    Being a Cajun from south Louisiana, I can say with all confidence that this is NOT an authentic gumbo of any kind.

  • dana1127
    Feb 17, 2015

    It may be "gumbo"....but not authentic cajun gumbo!! I've seen lots of different stews that some people call gumbo.

  • cookiemouse
    Feb 17, 2015

    Having spent several years in Southern Louisiana, I have found that there are many different recipes for "Authentic Cajun Gumbo". Although I don't think this is one of them, it is a very good soup.

  • curtisfamily93
    Feb 11, 2011

    I normally make another gumbo & thought I'd try a different recipe. This has a really good flavor. A litte different texture than what Im used to, but VERY good ;) Next time I wont use so much oil & flour & I'll thicken it up with cornstarch. But VERY good