Nothing gives the taste of Louisiana like a good hearty gumbo! Whether Cajun or Creole, each family will have their own recipe that they stick to. Here we are using the traditional thickener of okra, alongside tomatoes which make this version more Creole than Cajun. To find out where to travel to find the best gumbo, check out our blog post, ‘Food in Focus: Gumbo’. Happy travels!

Total prep and cooking time – 1hr 45mins

Serves – 4

Serving recommendation: Best served with a dash of Tabasco and crusty bread or boiled rice.

Learn more about where to find the best gumbo here!

To get started, ensure you have the kettle boiled for the stock and a large saucepan on the heat.

Ingredients

6CHICKEN THIGHS
8LARGE PRAWNS
1LARGE ONION
2 STICKSCELERY
2BELL PEPPERS
4 FINGERSOKRA
3FRESH TOMATOES
1/2 TABLESPOONCUMIN
1/2 TABLESPOONCAYENNE PEPPER
1/2 TABLESPOONPAPRIKA
2 LITRESCHICKEN STOCK
DASHTABASCO
2BAY LEAVES

Method

Step 1

Add oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat, then add the chicken thighs in order to seal them. Cook on each side for 2 minutes and then remove and place to one side.

Step 2

Turn the pan heat to low and dice the okra and add it to the pan with a little more oil. This is going to create our thickening agent. Leave for roughly 5 minutes before adding our ‘holy trinity’ of finely diced onion, celery and pepper.

Step 3

Allow the vegetables to soften and cook down, this will take roughly 10 minutes, keep an eye on them to ensure that they do not catch the bottom of the pan.

When you are happy that they have cooked down, add the cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin, allowing them to fry off for 2 minutes. boil the kettle for your stock.

Step 4

Turn up the heat to high and add your stock, long with the chicken thighs, bay leaves and roughly chopped tomatoes.

Place a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat to low for a slow simmer and remove the lid. Cook low and slow!

Step 5

Allow your gumbo to simmer for at least 3hrs. (TIP: If you are in a hurry, add half the amount of stock and simmer on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through).

We want to it to boil down and become a thick sauce, you may need to add additional water as you go to ensure the pot does not boil dry. The longer you cook your gumbo for, the more flavour your will have.

Step 6

Once your gumbo is almost down, add your shrimps to the gumbo and allow to cook through for 10 minutes and soak up the flavour.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and a dash of tabasco and serve over boiled rice or with crusty bread!