The Ultimate Gumbo

    3 hours 50 min

    This gumbo is jam-packed with prawns, chicken, smoked sausage, crab meat and vegetables. It's a hearty stew-like dish that will be welcomed during the cold winter months.

    53 people made this

    Serves: 20 

    • 1.8kg medium prawns, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
    • 125ml corn oil
    • 60g plain flour
    • 250ml chicken stock
    • 1 (1.35kg) whole chicken
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 5 sticks celery, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 5 large tomatoes, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons savoury seasoning, such as Knorr aromatic savoury seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 3 (170g) tins crab meat, drained
    • 450g smoked sausage, such as Mattessons, diced
    • 2 tablespoons file powder

    Prep:1hr30min  ›  Cook:2hr20min  ›  Ready in:3hr50min 

    1. Place the prawn shells in a large pot and cover with 2 litres of water. Cover and simmer over medium low heat until liquid is reduced by half. Strain out the shells.
    2. Select a large stock pot capable of holding all the ingredients. Add oil to the pot and heat over medium high heat. Using a long handled spoon, stir in flour; cook and stir for several minutes until dark brown. At that point, the flour suddenly puffs and absorbs the oil. Slowly stir in chicken stock and an equal amount of water. Place chicken in the pot. Add onions, celery, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, savoury seasoning and salt. Boil for about 1 1/2 hours or until chicken meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
    3. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bones and chop the chicken into about 2.5cm pieces.
    4. Add chicken, prawns, stock, crab meat, sausage and prawn the pot. Add the file powder and stir from the bottom of the pot. When the gumbo comes to a boil, remove from heat. Continue to stir from the bottom for 1 minute. Serve.


    File powder is also known as sassafras leaves. It can be purchased in Hispanic speciality stores or online. Alternatively, you can thicken the sauce with a mixture of cornflour and water.

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    Reviews & ratings
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    Reviews in English (43)


    My family has been making Cajun & Creole Gumbo for over 90 years.We use fresh chopped Okra in all of our Gumbos instead of File'Powder.File'was used only if you do not have fresh or frozen chopped Okra. Otherwise the Recipe is very good.Sometims we add shucked Oysters to give our Seafood Gumbo extra flavor. At my home Library I have over 100 different recipes for Gumbo, that were collected while growing up in Louisiana and have shared many of them with friends.  -  06 Nov 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Igave this recipe five stars because it is the best gumbo I've tasted. I did'nt put as much of the celery it call for instead I use a cup of green onion and a half cup of parsley. My family is from Louisiana an we never made gumbo without those two ingredients.  -  06 Mar 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I lived in New Orleans most of my life this recipe seems great, but noted a "lack of flavor" might be due to Old Bay Seasoning which is common on the East Coast, not in the South. We usually use Zetairan's Creole Seasoning or Tony Chachere's. Try that instead for a more authentic flavor.  -  27 Jan 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)