Nana’s Southern Gumbo
Published by Knopf
Editor's Note: If you're looking for a Southern recipe that will quickly become part of your family's favorite dinners, then this recipe for Nana’s Southern Gumbo is it! Filled with an assortment of vegetables, plus ham, chicken, and seafood, this easy gumbo recipe hits all the right notes. It's hearty and filling, and also includes a medley of flavors that everyone is sure to love. This recipe for Southern gumbo is also easy to make, so consider cooking a pot of gumbo for dinners this week. Round out the dinner by making this easy (and delicious!) recipe for Crusty Cornbread, which is also by Gina Neely and Pat Neely.
We prepared this gumbo on our “Pass It On” show, because it is a generational favorite that dates back to Gina’s Nana. Nana made it for Gina, Gina makes it for our daughters, and the hope is that someday our daughters will prepare it for their children. Gina and I love seafood and spicy Louisiana flavors, and this gumbo delivers plenty of both. It’s delicious served over Gina’s Perfect Rice. Gumbos throughout the South are made with countless combinations of seafood and meat (chicken, wild game, and spicy sausage), and ours is brimming with crab, shrimp, chicken, and ham.
Serves6 to 8
Cooking MethodOne-Pot, Stewing
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together
Recipe CourseMain Course
Taste and TextureMeaty, Rich, Savory, Spiced
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup cubed smoked ham (about 6 ounces)
- 1 pound fresh or frozen okra, sliced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (about 6 ounces)
- 1½ cups crabmeat (½ pound)
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¾ teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and flour over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture darkens to a brown about the color of peanut butter (about 6 minutes). This is called a roux, and it will thicken the gumbo and give it a deep, rich flavor. Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Whisk in the stock, add the ketchup, chopped tomatoes, ham, okra, and salt, and simmer over low heat for about 1½ hours, or until the soup has thickened and the flavors are well combined. Stir in the chicken, crabmeat, and shrimp, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until the shrimp are fully cooked and the gumbo is warmed through. Add the lemon juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, taste for seasonings, and serve in shallow bowls over hot steamed rice.
2009 Patrick Neely and Gina Neely