Mississippi Gulf Coast Gumbo

updated 4/30/13

I have been asked, "Why the title 'He Married Me For My Cooking'?"  It's really quite simple.  My husband.

Before we were married, before we even dated, we were really good friends.  Best friends.  And this poor man was living a bachelor's life - eating out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  It varied, but Taco Bell and Crown Burger were the most frequented stops for him.

There was one evening, just before Christmas, where I began a long standing tradition for our family - A Southern Night Before Christmas.  I made GUMBO.  I invited the Hubs over for the party, mainly because I knew he had served a mission for our church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I knew he would appreciate the Gumbo.  And he did.

So I joke, all the time, and say that it was my Gumbo that snagged him, that it's the reason he married me.  And here's my recipe for Mississippi Gulf Coast Gumbo.  Why Mississippi Gulf Coast?  Because that's where I lived, where I tried Gumbo for the first time, and it's LOADED with lovely, big shrimp, a Gulf Coast staple.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Gumbo


1 whole chicken
2 tsp. chile powder
1 Tbs. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. onion powder
10 oz. bag frozen medium shrimp (already cooked/pink)
1 package andouille sausage
3 Tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion
2 green peppers
2 celery stalks
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. parsley
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cans chicken broth
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
14 oz. can chile ready diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 Tbs. hot sauce
1 tsp. file powder


1. The night before you make the gumbo, cook the whole chicken in the crock pot: Make 5 balls out of aluminum foil and place in crock pot. Place chicken on top of the balls and sprinkle top with chile powder, poultry seasoning, and onion powder. Cook on low for 10 hours. When the chicken is done in the morning, allow to cool and then remove meat from bones and place in a large bowl or ziploc bag.

2. Slice sausage links in half, and then into 1/2 inch pieces. In large skillet, cook sausage until browned. Combine with chicken. Thaw shrimp and remove tails. Combine with sausage and chicken. Refrigerate until ready to add to gumbo.

3. Dice onion, peppers, and celery. Melt 3 Tbs. butter in a large skillet and saute vegetables, garlic, thyme, and parsley until vegetables are tender. Place in medium bowl or ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to add to gumbo.

4. About 1 hour before you are ready to eat, begin to make gumbo. Make a roux with butter and flour. Whisking constantly, cook 10 minutes or until roux turns brown. DO NOT BURN! It should have a nutty flavor and scent. Add chicken broth. Whisk and simmer 15 minutes.

5. Add vegetables to broth mixture. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes. Add meats, hot sauce, file, salt & pepper. Simmer 5 minutes and adjust seasoning. Serve over rice.

Serves 10