Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Gumbo Number Nine

January 9th, 2012 · 10 Comments

Do you remember back in the 1990’s there was a little ditty by Lou Bega named “Mambo Number Five”! It was a number 1 hit in 1999 across many charts, including number 3 for the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. If you have never heard the song, you should take a quick listen, then come back for more reading here. Then the parody of the popular song (video below) is actually quite a laugh, as it pokes fun at the same tones, cadence, and styling, but with a set of lyrics that will make you want to go out and order some Chinese!

Some time later, the parody song “Combo Number Five” became an email and Internet rage, and was mistakenly attributed to Weird Al Yankovic, but this song is actually by a group called “AZN Pride”.

So what do these two songs have to do with Gumbo?

I have made so many batches of gumbo, it is impossible to count! And every batch that I make at home is just a little bit different every time, always depends on what we have on hand, sure I could just make a gumbo from a recipe and keep it consistent every time, but where is fun in always having to read a recipe every time I want to cook something? So, I figure…out of the hundreds of times I have made gumbo, there must be several variations that I have thrown together! So, here is Gumbo Number Nine!

Making a batch of gumbo reminds me of this quote as Thoreau said; "Time is but a stream that I go a fishing in".

How did I come up with nine variations of gumbo?

Probably better to ask, how do you have just nine versions of gumbo? For everyone who makes gumbo from scratch, very few of them will admit to making it exactly the same way twice. I can come close to my basic gumbo recipe, but every time I make gumbo, it is a little different.

When I know that my dad is going to sample some of my gumbo, I keep out the roux, and only thicken it with the okra and filè (pronounced fee-lay), when I make a batch of gumbo when I want to add some strong background flavor I will thicken it with a very dark roux. If shrimp are really good and in season, and I find a good batch of gumbo crabs, then it becomes a seafood gumbo. When I don’t have any good seafood, I make a chicken and sausage gumbo. When I want to impress, I make a duck and andouille gumbo. You see, just here I have already listed five different gumbos! And heck, the recipe I made yesterday is a chicken and smoked sausage gumbo, thickened with a dark roux, okra which we froze from the summer garden, and filè.

If you don’t know what filè is, then you need to check out this post on Filè Spice Powder or Gumbo filè which I originally posted on May 15th, 2008.

Gumbo Number Nine
Gumbo Number Nine – This is the gumbo in process, having just added in the seasonings, sausage, okra, and roux. Cooking it down some before adding in the filè and chicken.

The Recipe!

This recipe will yield about 3 gallons of some tasty gumbo. Like I said, it is going to be hard for you to even duplicate this one. I most likely will never make a gumbo like this one again. I just happened to have all the stocks on hand that made this one special!

This batch of gumbo took me two days to prepare, Day 1: Cook the chicken in the stocks. Day 2: Put it all together.

3 lb. 1 Whole, chicken cut into pieces, raw, bone-in
1 Quart Shrimp stock
1 Quart Smoked turkey stock
2 Quarts Chicken stock
1 Quart Ham stock
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Large Green bell peppers, diced
5 Ribs Celery, diced
2 Lbs. Smoked sausage, sliced
3 Lbs Okra, sliced
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3 Each Bay leaves
1 Bulb Garlic, minced (12 cloves)
1 Quart Tomatoes, diced
1 Can Tomato paste (6 oz)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ Lb. Dark roux
1 Tsp Crystal Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp Filè powder (slurry) (blended with ½-cup cool water)
To taste Salt


Procedure Steps:
1. Rinse the raw whole chicken pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 1 neck, 1 back bone, giblets). Then add them to a large (3 gallon) stock pot. Cover the chicken pieces with the stocks and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook the chicken for at least 90 minutes. Periodically you will want to skim any scum that rises to the top and discard. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it and allow to cool on the bone, and cover, then chill overnight. Allow the stock to cool, cover, and chill overnight.
2. In the meantime and while the chicken is simmering in the stocks you can prep the sausage, onions, bell pepper, celery, and okra if it is fresh. Or you can wait until the next day.
3. On the next day, remove the stock from the fridge and scrape off any fat that may have risen to the top. Bring the stock to a simmer over a medium heat on the stove, add the sausage, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, spices, tomatoes, paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well after each addition, and allow this to reach a slow simmer. Make the roux, and allow it to cool to the touch. Add in the half-pound of room temperature roux, and stir well to incorporate. Allow the gumbo to simmer well for at least an hour. Then add in the filè powder slurry.
4. In the meantime, you can pull the chicken off the bone, discarding the skin. Pull the chicken into bite size pieces. Then add the chicken to the gumbo, allow it to heat through over the low to medium heat. Season to taste with salt and Crystal hot sauce.

We like to put a large dollop of potato salad on top of our gumbo!


Gumbo Number Nine
Gumbo Number Nine – Gumbo is served with a dollop of fresh made potato salad!

Gumbo also makes a good football watching food!

Geaux LSU Tigers!

Who Dat Saints!

Bon appétit!
©2011 CCR

Tags: Cajun · Recipes · Soups

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tiffany // Jan 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Gumbo is one of my husbands favorite dishes to make, and like you, it’s never the same twice! Your recipe looks fantastic and I love that you serve yours with a dollop of potato salad, never tried that but we will!

  • 2 Monique // Jan 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    The BEST Gumbo I ever had! YUMMY!
    Thanks babe!! <3

  • 3 Ryan Boudreaux // Jan 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    So glad you like it my honey! Always put love in everything I cook!

  • 4 Anne // Jan 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I love gumbo and your’s looks so good. I wish I had a bowl full right now.

    We used to have a supervisor who was from New Orleans and she made the best gumbo. She retired and I haven’t had any good gumbo since. I would love to have a bowl full of your’s right now. It is cold today and some gumbo would definitely hit the spot!!!

  • 5 Ryan Boudreaux // Jan 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Hi Anne,
    I bet your supervisor made a great gumbo! Maybe you could look her up and I would be willing to bet she would share her recipe too!

    Bon appetite!

  • 6 Wylde // Jan 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Holy Moly…. I was taught that there are a few basic “gumbo rule”s… always use a roux; never burn the roux; when you DO burn the roux -start over; there MUST be onion celery and green pepper; never mix file & okra; and cook it `til it’s thick. I’ll bet you ran with scissors, too. (raucous laughter) Actually, I like the combo of file & okra in my gumbo… I just never let on they were mixed. Thanks

  • 7 Dave at eRecipeCards // Feb 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I am plotting my next trip to New Orleans and came across your blog. Looks wonderful and what is not to love about a recipe that measures ingredients by the pound!

    Greetings. This is my first time on your blog, but you have a terrific one. I am always on the look out for new blogs, new ideas. I especially appreciate all the details you do. Great photos makes it seem like anyone can replicate the recipe!

  • 8 Mom Foodie // Feb 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve never had potato salad with gumbo, but the idea made my mouth water 😀

  • 9 torviewtoronto // Feb 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    this looks wonderful hope all is well in your end

  • 10 Samantha // Mar 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    This recipe would be great in my new stainless steel pan . I can’t wait to try it and have friends over to share. Thanks for the post. It’s beautiful!