Seafood Gumbo


This New Year’s Eve, Mark and I had a very traditional Sutherland Family celebration with a quiet evening at home in Chicago. This means staying in your pajamas all day, mimosas in the afternoon, and then a late, leisurely dinner featuring crab. We feasted on king crab, spicy roasted potato wedges and green salad. It was awesome.

The second part of the tradition occurs on New Year’s Day, when you take your saved crab shells and toss them into a pot of chicken stock (homemade, of course), and magically turn it into seafood stock after a short simmer. The resulting stock is nothing short of magical, and begs to be at the center of a meal. The New Year’s tradition in our family means using that stock in seafood gumbo.

I have to apologize to my Southern friends up front – this isn’t a traditional Louisiana gumbo – there’s no roux or okra, but the flavor is just as good as anything I’ve had in a restaurant. I skipped the customary step of beginning with a roux since I wasn’t sure a gluten-free roux would hold up in a soup. I am happy to report that a sprinkling of corn flour on the mirepoix at the beginning of the process and a teaspoon or so of file powder stirred in at the end produced a beautifully thick gravy with no gluten!

Gumbo needs a little kick to it, so don’t be shy with the cayenne and spicy andouille sausage. When you serve the gumbo over brown rice, the spice will be soaked up by the rice just a bit, and provide a nice heat without sending you for the water pitcher. For those who like it really hot, put a bottle of hot sauce on the table, so your guests can dose their bowls to their liking.

Seafood Gumbo
Adapted from Momma Sutherland and
Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 8, serve over brown rice

1 pound small shrimp, shelled, and deveined (if desired), shells reserved
4 cups chicken stock
1 small pinch saffron threads
leftover crab shells (or 8oz bottled clam juice)
2 cups water
1 T oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 T corn flour
1 14oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
2 bay leaves
8 oz turkey andouille sausage (Wellshire Farms), sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into bite-sized pieces
1.5 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 tsp gumbo file powder
salt & pepper to taste

Garnishes: parsley, scallions and serve over brown rice

  1. Bring reserved shrimp shells, crab shells (or clam juice), chicken stock, pinch of saffron and water to boil in stockpot or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 minutes. Strain and discard shells. Set stock aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and cayenne; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften – about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the corn flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Stirring constantly, cook for two more minutes, then pour in the canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally – the mixture will get thick and turn into the consistency of loose paste. Add 1 quart reserved stock mixture and stir. Increase heat to high; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, skim off foam on surface, add bay leaves, and simmer uncovered, skimming foam as it rises to the surface, about 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, stir in sausage; continue simmering to blend flavors, about 30 minutes longer. Stir in cooked chicken and shrimp; simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Off heat, stir in parsley, scallions, and filé powder. Let rest until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne; serve over about 1/2 cup of brown rice per bowl.

Gumbo: 250 cal per serving (about 1.5 cup of gumbo), 70 cal from fat, 7.8g fat, 155mg cholesterol, 770mg sodium, 380mg potassium, 15g carbs, 5g sugars, 29.4g protein

Brown rice: 108 cal per 1/2 cup, .8g fat, 22g carbs, 2.52g protein

3 thoughts on “Seafood Gumbo

  1. Thanks for this delicious seafood recipe ! I'm gonna try this with my wife next weekend. We will put some more crab meat instead of the shrimp as we like this a little better. We both love seafood ! Thanks again and Happy New Year !

  2. Pingback: Thai Red Curry Soup with Shrimp « The Whole Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Seafood Gumbo Recipe | Leite's Culinaria

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s