Brixton Recipe: Gumbo



By Richard Myers

New Orleans Gumbo with chicken and smoked sausage (serves 6-8)

Coming from New Orleans, our soups are famous throughout the world, such as gumbos and oyster stew.  When I lived in San Francisco it was their warming seafood cioppino and in Boston the Clam Chowder.  With food trends dominating the scene the humble soups always seems to deliver that comfortable feeling of home or transport me to a location or memory of an exotic location.  I truly first began an understanding of food and passion through soup cooking with my father-  we would just put everything in a pot and cook adding a touch of this and that I began to learn how to flavour and alter tastes.  So we will start with the magic of the Gumbo, a mix of so many cultures in one pot.

  • 225 g (½ lb) unsalted butter
  • 190g (1.5 cups) plain flour

  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 celery stalk, diced

  • 2.5 litres (10 cups) chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried chillies

  • few sprigs chopped fresh thyme

  • ½ tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

  • ½ smoked sausage sliced

  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, cut in 1” pieces

  • 1 cup okra, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
  • hot sauce to taste (Franks or Louisiana if possible)

  • boiled rice to serve

In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Gradually add one-third of the flour, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon.  Cook while continuing to stir for thirty seconds.  Add a third more flour and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Add remaining flour and stir for thirty seconds.  Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until roux is brown (5 – 10 minutes) and smells of pecan nuts.

Add the bell peppers and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Add chicken, onions and celery and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the stock to the roux, stirring to prevent lumps forming.  Add all remaining ingredients apart from the rice and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil and simmer the gumbo, uncovered for 45 minutes, skimming off any fat and giving an occasional stir.  Add chicken and okra if using and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Add hot sauce to taste. Serve with rice.

Richard cooks daily at Kaff and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @laissezchef. See a review of his food in July’s Brixton Bugle.