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Gumbo is Life

  • Author: Bull Garlington
  • Total Time: 1 hour


This is essential gumbo, nothing fancy, but instead the solid working stiff’s version. It may deviate slightly from the steps in the article above, but don’t let that bother you. This is your gumbo. Do whatcha wanna.


Units Scale
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, halved then chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of oil, butter, or fat
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon of Zaterain cajun spice
  • 1 pound of chicken, chopped
  • 1 smoked kielbasa, quartered then chopped
  • 1 andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large pot, add a little oil then sauté the andouille and the smoked kielbasa until the edges have a little char, and remove to a bowl
  2. Salt, pepper, and spice the chicken; in the same pot, sauté until the pieces are almost entirely done, about five to seven minutes, and remove to the bowl.
  3. Add the oil or fat and the flour; cook on medium heat, constantly stirring, until the flour and oil are thoroughly combined and have begun to form a paste; continue cooking until that paste is the color of very light peanut butter.
  4. Add the chopped onions, peppers, and celery to the hot fat and sauté until the onions are transparent. CAUTION: there will be a lot of steam; be careful not to have your face over the pan, and make sure your hood vent is on.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
  6. Add the stock or water, deglazing the pot and stirring.
  7. Add the meats and pour the oils and grease from the bowl into the pot
  8. Bring the gumbo to a lively simmer then reduce the heat to low. Skim the foam and fat off the top with a ladle. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes until all the flavors have married. 
  9. Test for spice and add more if you need to; test for seasoning. Serve immediately over rice.


You can mix up your holy trinity any way you want as long as you maintain the ratio. Use leeks, shallots, purple onions, or vidalias. Use various peppers. Customize as you wish.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: gumbo, cajun