Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann
Hands-on Time
58 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 13 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 cup gumbo and 1/4 cup rice)

Freeze leftover stock up to three months, and use for chowder or risotto.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare the stock, peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover shrimp, and refrigerate.

Step 2

Combine reserved shrimp shells, 8 cups water, and next 6 ingredients (through onion) in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 3 cups stock; keep warm. Reserve the remaining shrimp stock for another use.

Step 3

To prepare the gumbo, heat a large cast-iron skillet over low heat; add 1/4 cup canola oil. Cook for 2 minutes, swirling to coat pan. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Gradually add flour to oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium; cook for 8 minutes or until the flour mixture is caramel-colored, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture is chestnut-colored, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; slowly add warm shrimp stock, stirring until smooth. Pour stock mixture into a large bowl.

Step 4

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add onion and the next 5 ingredients (through bell pepper); sauté for 3 minutes. Return stock mixture to pan; add broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 5

Add okra and next 3 ingredients (through black pepper). Simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Combine shrimp and paprika; toss to coat shrimp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; sauté for 2 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Stir shrimp into okra mixture. Discard bay leaves. Serve over rice.

Ratings & Reviews

CJMiller29's Review

March 05, 2014

TTantaros's Review

November 17, 2013
I enjoy making lighter versions of soups/stews. I must say this one is great. It took a little time to make but it is well worth it.

CynthiaGre's Review

April 17, 2013
My first ever attempt at gumbo, and I was very wary of it since I'm awful at making soups. This was delicious! Very time consuming, yes, but very worth it!

nashbarb's Review

February 03, 2013
one of the best recipes I've ever gotten from cooking light. Make sure you follow directions to get the roux good and dark. Can freeze shrimp stock for saving a step next time

heidz23's Review

November 12, 2012
Yes, this is a time consuming recipe, but you can tell that by reading the steps. Even though it was putzy, I thought it was worth it. The stock part of the recipe makes enough stock for 2 batches. Instead of using the chicken and tomatoes it called for, I used some ground chicken chorizo (about 1-1.25 lbs) and a can of diced no-salt tomatoes (undrained), so that saved some time. The chicken chorizo added extra flavor that worked well with the gumbo. If you enjoy cooking and don't mind spending the time on the extra steps, this is a good recipe.

GrammyBoomFire's Review

August 22, 2012
This is a Creole Gumbo version which always uses tomatoes and usually okra. Cajun Gumbo usually has neither. Both use the American HOLY TRINITY in the base (Onion, Bell Pepper, & Celery). Both are delicious .... Both a labor of Love !!!! For Kitzer: Gumbo has been an American staple since before the American Revolution in the French settlements where the recipes were ADAPTED to local foods and regional influences ......

kcuervo's Review

February 23, 2012
It did take a lot more time than I had expected, but it's a good recipe. Add extra hot sauce! It's not nearly spicy enough. If you want to split this up, make the shrimp stock a day or so ahead. Refrigerate the portion you need; freeze the rest. Then when you begin your gumbo, heat your stock back up.

Brunella's Review

January 04, 2012

hawaiikim's Review

December 07, 2011
This was a solid recipe, but it wasn't worth the time it took.

PKcookin's Review

October 24, 2011
This is a bit putsy. Lots of pots and pans for one dish. That said good gumbo. The roux takes way longer than the recipe says, although I didn't have a cast iron skillet so I used a dutch oven to cut down on pans so that could be why it took longer. I also wondered about the order of ingredients. The chicken didn't right away so be patient to get the oil heated. Next time I might add the ingredients in this step without the to tomato and let that sauté then add the tomato. Getting stuff done ahead of time would help. I would try doing the Shrimp stock, roux and shrimp ahead of time. I would also consider grilling the Shrimp tossed in paprika and doing until just barely done as they cook in the hot gumbo. I would then cut them into bite size pieces once cooked. Not too hot so add extra hot sauce if you like things spicy.