Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo

Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo

Merwin Chambers 0

"This is a recipe for a classic, dark brown, shrimp gumbo in true Louisiana Cajun country fashion. Serve over rice. Browning the chicken pieces in the oil used for the roux adds flavor to the dish. I use the cooked chicken for chicken salad. File is added off the heat to thicken the gumbo. If added while the gumbo is still cooking, it may become stringy and unpleasant. File is ground sassafras leaves. It is available in many supermarkets."

Ingredients 2 h 45 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 837 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 837 kcal
  • 42%
  • Fat:
  • 52.2 g
  • 80%
  • Carbs:
  • 19.1g
  • 6%
  • Protein:
  • 69 g
  • 138%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 328 mg
  • 109%
  • Sodium:
  • 823 mg
  • 33%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels to remove some of the fat. Discard fat in pan.
  2. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat. Brown chicken pieces in hot oil. Turn frequently until golden brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a dish, leaving oil in pan. Set chicken aside, but keep warm.
  3. Make a roux by whisking flour into the hot vegetable oil. Turn heat down to low. Continue cooking flour and oil mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches a dark brown color. This may take 30 to 45 minutes; the darker the roux, the better the final gumbo.
  4. When the roux is a dark brown color, quickly add the sausage, onion, green onion tops, green pepper, parsley, and garlic. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in 2 cups water and spices. Add chicken parts. Add rest of the water slowly. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until chicken is done and tender.
  6. Remove chicken pieces, and save for another use. Add shrimp to gumbo; cook for about 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve gumbo in deep bowls. Sprinkle file powder over individual servings, and stir in.
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Reviews 90

  1. 109 Ratings


This was terrific! My friend from Louisianna helped me make this, and told me instead of constantly stirring the roux, to let it sit for a minute or two, then stir, let sit, etc. I don't think my roux would have EVER turned brown if she hadn't told me this! I put more green pepper in than this called for, a can of tomatoes, used 1/2 olive oil and half veg oil, other than that, stuck to the recipe for an excellent product. One other note: My friend told me her mom makes a lot of roux at a time, and freezes it in baggies so that next time, she doesn't have to stand at the stove for so long. Thanks Merwin!


I grew up eating my mom's gumbo, so as I read many recipes and reviews, I also had some ideas such as gumbo must have okra and tomatoes! I think this is the best recipe I've found. I did speed it up by doing a few of the steps simultaneously in two pots, so my total cooking time was about 2 hours. 1. First I browned the chicken in light olive oil (holds up to heat better than regular) in a heavy skillet. I put the chicken aside to be added back and cooked in the gumbo during the last 40 minutes. (Chicken included is how I know gumbo.) 2. Then I cooked the roux in the heavy skillet simultaneously with browning the sausage (I used Polish, sliced in circles) in a large soup pot. For the roux, I added to the oil that had browned the chicken more olive oil and 1/4 cup of butter to make a total of about a cup of oil/butter, and gradually added about a cup and a half of flour, stirring constantly so that the roux was smooth. I like to use a metal spatula (aka turner) so that I can quickly scrape the bottom of the skillet and not let the roux burn. 3. While the sausage browned in one pot, and the roux browned in the other (stirring every couple of minutes), I finely chopped the Cajon "trinity" of onion, bell pepper, and celery. I added the vegies to the sausage pot, along with cajon seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.), garlic, and a little olive oil. 4. When the vegies were wilted and the roux was "darker than peanut butter," I added the roux to the sausage and vegies, along


I am from and still live in southern Louisiana. I think some people don't realize that good southern cooking takes time. People here love to cook. Alot of us base our weekends on food..inviting friends and family over to share good times being outside on a nice day driking and talking while we cook one stew, gumbo, jambalaya, sauce picante, etc. all day long. Its nice to sit around and smell the good smells while enjoying the day. Good food takes time and is always well worth it in the end.