• 3 cups olive oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ gallons of water
  • 2 whole chickens
  • 3 lbs. smoked sausage, chopped
  • 3 lbs. okra, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons Bayou Ya-Ya (or to taste)
  • file’, salt, pepper, hot sauce
  • cooked rice


The most important element in a good gumbo is the roux. Add equal parts oil and flour into a pan and heat on medium-high heat until the desired color is obtained (a rich golden brown). Stir frequently to prevent burning. Your roux is successful when it has a distinctively nutty taste. Don’t burn your tongue when you taste it!

Add the chopped onions and celery to the roux and allow to cook until onions are translucent and celery is tender. Add water and chickens and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 hours. Remove chickens from pot and allow to cool. Pull meat from chickens and add to gumbo. Add sausage and okra. Cook for 15-20 minutes more. Season with Bayou Ya-Ya, file’, pepper, salt, and hot sauce to taste. Serve over rice.

Note: This recipe can easily be cut in half or even in quarters; however, sealed tightly, gumbo freezes well and makes a nice heat-and-eat dinner on busy nights.