This amazingly flavorful Authentic Creole Shrimp Gumbo recipe uses the masterpiece of all sausages spicy andouille sausage with shrimp, chicken, and traditional rice. The method is straightforward; you’ll wonder why you have waited so long to make it.
Gumbo is often used as one of the examples of the melting-pot culture of Louisiana cooking. The name derives from a West African word for okra, suggesting that gumbo was originally made with okra. The use of filé (dried and ground sassafras leaves) was a contribution of the Choctaws or, possibly, other local Indian tribes. Roux originates in French cuisine, although the roux used in gumbos is much darker than its Gallic cousins.
In the past, Gumbos have been split into two broad categories—those thickened with okra and those thickened with filé. According to some folks, okra was the preferred thickening agent for gumbo before refrigerators and freezers. Simultaneously, filé was a substitute used only in the off-season when okra wasn’t available to use.
Gumbo has been a staple in Louisiana kitchens long before written records of the recipe existed, and there are many myths surrounding its origins. No one is even certain whether the method has a Creole or Cajun background – the oldest dated mention of Gumbo from French explorer C.C. Robin after he ate it at a soiree on the Acadian coast in 1803. However, there are records of the Creole enjoying it reasonably close to the same period.
There are about three types of Gumbo, with several variations of all three.
- Seafood Gumbo is made of shrimp, crab, crawfish, fish, oysters, or a combination. Seafood gumbo does not use clam juice or water; it is made in a seafood stock from shrimp, crab, or fish. Giving the seafood gumbo a different flavor can be thickened with Filé powder, also called gumbo filé.
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is the most popular type of Gumbo, mainly because chicken and sausage are more available and less expensive than seafood. Andouille sausage primarily consists of pork and garlic and is generally used in this type of Gumbo dish. The chicken used is usually boneless white or dark meat.
- Gumbo Z’herbesis is a gumbo dish made only with greens and veggies. The gumbo contains various greens such as spinach leaves, kale, beet tops, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens, cabbage, watercress, green parsley, and green onions, in addition to the Holy Trinity- onions, bell peppers, with celery. This dish has been popular during Good Friday, Lent, or Holy Thursday. The magic number of greens added is 13
Tomatoes in Authentic Creole Shrimp Gumbo?
Let’s address the elephant in the room before we go further– “Tomatoes do NOT belong in Gumbo.“… That is correct for Cajun Gumbo bases; I have never had a Cajun Gumbo with tomatoes added. However, that is not true for all Gumbo Bases. Many, many, many Creole Gumbo recipes use tomatoes in their base. So ultimately, you may have a Cajun tell you NO tomatoes and a Creole person tell you to add the tomatoes!
Be sure to see the Ingredient Shopping List and Tips and Tricks below, as, believe me, they tend to make life a little easier and conserve as much time as possible when making the Shrimp Gumbo. If you have questions about the recipe, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section. I love hearing from all of you!
Ingredients needed for Creole Shrimp Gumbo
- One pound of chicken thighs, bone, and skin on cooked
- Four cups of cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup oil + 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon if needed
- One large yellow onion, chopped
- Six cloves garlic, minced
- One cup of chopped celery
- One large green bell pepper, chopped
- Two cups okra, sliced, may use frozen organic
- Two large Creole tomatoes, chopped, may use heirloom or canned organic tomatoes.
- Seven cups of seafood or chicken stock +more
- One pound of andouille sausage, sliced, may use smoked sausage
- Two bay leaves
- One tablespoon of dried thyme
- Two tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning, salt-free only
- Kosher salt, to own taste
- Ground white pepper, to own taste
- One to two pounds of raw jumbo Gulf shrimp
- One bunch of green onions, sliced, optional
- Hot Sauce, optional
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions for The Creole Shrimp Gumbo
- If you are short on time, look in the produce department for pre-chopped veggies to use in the Shrimp Gumbo.
- Work smart, not hard, when making the Gumbo. While the chicken thighs cook, which takes about 25-30 minutes in the Air-fryer, start the rice in a rice steamer or stovetop. While the chicken and rice cook, you can begin to saute your onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic.
- Chicken stock may be used in place of the Seafood stock; do not use clam juice for the stock. The clam juice does not belong in this dish as there are no clams in this gumbo. Adding clam juice will ruin the natural flavors.
- Heirloom tomatoes may be substituted for Creole tomatoes since they have a short growing season. If you cannot access fresh vegetables, use organic diced tomatoes to replace them.
- Do not use cooked shrimp in this recipe. Buy only fresh shrimp with cleaned shells and the tails removed.
- Use only salt-free Cajun seasoning or Creole Seasoning. Preferably Creole seasoning over Cajun.
If you enjoyed this Authentic Creole Shrimp Gumbo recipe, here are more you might like
- Classic Sausage Chicken and Okra Gumbo– This Classic Sausage Chicken and Okra Gumbo is a spin-off of a popular recipe from Paul Prudhomme, the famous New Orleans chef who put Louisiana on the American culinary map. It is a hearty, flavorful, delicious Gumbo with fresh organic okra to bring it up a notch.
- Green Gumbo with Shrimp – This Green Gumbo with shrimp is often said to be the finest gumbos and is a spin-off from the traditional Holy Thursday meal for Creole families in New Orléans. The Nine Greens are said to represent the Nine Churches visited on Good Friday in remembrance of Jesus’ walk to be crucified.
- Red Creole Crawfish Gumbo –Gumbo is one of Louisiana’s oldest beloved Creole and Cajun cuisines. Gumbo is as much of a cultural symbol as the bayou or jazz music heard playing in the French Quarters of New Orléans. There are many variations of family recipes for Gumbo across Louisiana; my Red Creole Crawfish Gumbo is one of my favorite Gumbos.
Authentic Creole Shrimp Gumbo
- 1 pound chicken thighs seasoned, cooked, skin and bones removed
- 3-4 cups cooked white rice use a rice steamer to cook while the chicken is cooking
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced use fresh
- 1/2 cup oil + 2 tablespoons for sauteing the vegetables
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon if needed
- 7 cups Seafood stock or chicken stock may be used
- 1 pound Andouille Sausage or smoked sausage, sliced
- 2 cups fresh green okra, sliced organic frozen may be used
- 2 large Creole tomatoes, or Heirloom tomatoes organic canned tomatoes may be used- 1 can
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning Use salt-free Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt to own taste
- Ground white pepper to own taste
- 2 pounds Large Gulf Shrimp
- 1 bunch sliced green onions to serve, optional
- Hot sauce to serve, optional
- Cook the bone on seasoned chicken thighs until done or use precooked chicken thighs. I used my Air-fryer and cooked for about 30 minutes at 360° F. You may substitute chicken breasts if desired. After the chicken thighs are done and cooled to the touch, remove the skin, and pull meat from the bones. Reserve to the side.
- While the chicken is cooking Use a rice steamer and begin to steam rice according to rice steamer instructions. You will need at least 4 cups of cooked rice to serve 8 people.
- Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch Oven on medium heat, add the yellow onions, celery, green peppers, and minced garlic, cook until softened- about 7 minutes.
- Next, using the large heavy bottom pot or Dutch Oven on medium heat and add the ½ cup of oil to heat. Once slightly heated add the flour and continuously stir. Stir the mixture until an amber color has been reached carefully as not to burn the Roux. This may take a little time.
- Add seafood stock to the Dutch Oven and stir a few minutes to combine the mixture with the stock, a chicken stock may be substituted if needed. Then add the dark chicken meat, sliced andouille sausage, sauteed veggies, sliced okra, Creole or Heirloom tomatoes, bay leaves, cajun seasoning, dried thyme, kosher salt to own taste, and white pepper to own taste. Stir again to combine the ingredients. Cook 45-55 minutes on reduced heat. Stir often.
- After cooking 45-55 minutes completely turn off the heat and add the cleaned shrimp with shells and tails removed, stir again. Let sit 10 minutes and then stir before serving. The shrimp will cook at that time even with the heat off.
- Serve over white rice, top with sliced green onions and hot sauce if desired.
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