Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo

Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo


"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."


2 h 45 m servings 837 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



  • 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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  1. 110 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...

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...

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..inviti...

Fabulous! I made this recipe almost exactly as it was posted with a few minor changes. I browned four chicken thighs, skin and all, I did not save the meat rather after I was finished cooking ...

With my dad being a Louisiana native, you'd think he'd have taught all us kids how to make a good gumbo, but no. Thank you, Merwin, for stepping in and giving us a great, no-fail recipe! The b...

Delicious dish...we enjoyed it. I couldn't get file powder so I ended up adding 2T of cornstarch to thicken just before serving.

I am giving this some-what low rating due to the complexity of the recipe. I am not a Creole/Cajun chef at all and I will take most of the responsibility for the low rating. But I feel disappoin...

Being that I am from Louisiana and spent most of my life there, I tend to really miss the more traditional dishes. This was the first time I had ever actually made gumbo myself because I always ...

Great recipe that is really easy for gumbo. My pot would only hold 6 c. of water. I recommend cutting the oil to 1/2 c. I added gumbo file to the entire pot at the end and a little more thyme ...