Hello Gumbo!


We’ve never used our downstairs bathroom because it has always been unusable.


Not just dirty but originally constructed, decades ago, with poor, cheap materials not meant to last more than a couple of years.  And they didn’t.


Today Steve DeVeau, French-Canadian and master remodeler stripped the bathroom down to 4 walls and I made gumbo.  I had a lot more fun than he did 😀


I snipped a few of the last branches of my fresh thyme and decided to go with a mix of peppercorns for the stock because I like the colors of mixed peppercorns.


I found some premixed Emeril’s Essence in the pantry and sprinkled 6 enormous chicken thighs with it before browning.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy the premix again.  It’s easy to make your own and you can adjust the quantities of ingredients to taste.  In addition, it stores well.


The idea of gumbo came to me because I saw some andouille sausages and good quality, refrigerated, canned fresh crab at the Super Duper market.  I had file gumbo (no okra in the gumbo for this family) in the pantry and nice prawns in the freezer.  Gumbo making is a little fiddly but well worth it.


Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

6 large chicken thighs

Emeril’s essence

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 onion, quartered

4 garlic cloves, quartered

Leaves from 2 celery branches

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tsp mixed peppercorns

2 quarts water

Season the chicken with the essence, then brown in the oil.  Set the skillet, reserving the oil, to the side. Put the chicken in a large stock pot with the vegetables, herbs and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Reserving the broth, remove the chicken, allow to cool, then remove the skin and bones, breaking the chicken into chunks.  Set aside.

3 andouille sausages, sliced

2/3 cup flour

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 celery branches, sliced

1 tbsp Emeril’s essence

1 tbsp gumbo file

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 16oz can fresh crab from the grocery refrigerated section

1 tbsp gumbo file

Sliced scallions

Brown the sausage slices in the reserve oil, remove and set aside, again reserving the oil. Brown the flour in the reserved oil until the flour is cooked and a chocolate brown.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery, then cook until soft.  Sprinkle the vegetables with the essence and file, then gradually add, stirring, about 10-12 cups of the reserved broth.  Pour the broth into a large stockpot, bring to a boil, then add the andouille and chicken chunks.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the shrimp and crab then cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the fire, stir in the second tbsp of gumbo file and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Serve with rice, scallions and more gumbo file if desired.




About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, Seafood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Hello Gumbo!

  1. Sophia says:

    Mmm looks so good! 🙂

  2. Cecile says:

    I love Gumbo and I love Louisiana. I visited once with my husband and once by myself, after he died. I felt as if he were with me that entire trip. My husband’s name was Claude and he was also French Canadian, just like your husband, except my husband couldn’t fix ANYTHING! His father and one of his brothers can fix/make anything…. the other two (including my husband), “Not so much!”

    • Thank you Cecile. My husband is not French Canadian but Irish American. Steve is our bathroom remodeler and my husband can’t fix anything either 😀

      • Cecile says:

        Too Funny – I always seem to get things mixed up – and I think it’s a riot your husband can’t fix anything either – thank God for those French Canadian men, like my brother-in-law Michel, who can do/fix anything!! ; o )

  3. Wonderful Gumbo, nourishing, warming, soul food, done really well here.

  4. Trish says:

    Interesting figurines in the background – salt and pepper shakers?

  5. Mad Dog says:

    I’ve just eaten chicken chilli, but I think I could mange a small helping of your gumbo 😉

  6. jz says:

    i love making gumbo! it is almost turkey bone gumbo time too!

  7. Sơn says:

    your blog ‘s so good, where i can practise to cook new food for my family and friends. tks for sharing 🙂

  8. MELewis says:

    My husband is not a ‘bricoleur’ either. The gumbo sounds yummy but I’d love to see the remodeled bathroom!

  9. Karen says:

    Gumbo is one of my favorite fall and winter dishes and yours sounds delicious. Although I know lots of people don’t like okra, I do like adding it to mine. 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    Rosemary, only you could make a blog post containing beautiful photos of delicious gumbo, some Mammy salt and pepper shakers and a broken-down bathroom totally work. This is why I love you. 🙂

  11. A beautiful gumbo and I love your salt & pepper shakers 🙂

  12. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely prep shots. I have never cooked a gumbo. This looks delicious.

    • Thank you Conor. You should research gumbo. There are two schools of thought; okra or gumbo file. In addition, ingredients vary. My mom would use whole cooked crabs, claws separated from the body and body broken into chunks. Messy but marvelous.

  13. Wonderful. I’m with Conor on never having coked gumbo. Perhaps I ought to dive in! I remember you saying that you dislike okra intensely.

  14. I am sick of seeing pics of gumbo at the mo. Jen’s sister has just gone through New Orleans and every fricking day I get tagged in more gumbo pics on her Facebook. I’ve just gotta make it… Now to find some andouille 🙂

  15. reggiorif says:

    Despite having heard of it many times, I never made Gumbo. It sounds like such a flavourful dish, I’d love to give it a try.

  16. Hi cooking in Sens! Gumbo has such wonderful aromas while cooking. I’m surprised your bathroom guy didn’t stop working and just hang out in the kitchen.

    Have a superb rest to your week.

    ~Janet @ The Kitchen Bridge

  17. That is mighty fine looking gumbo!

  18. wow..nice food

  19. sakinah30 says:

    Reblogged this on Cappuccino.

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