Main Dish

Mighty Southern Gumbo

Ektimo Vineyards

4950 Ross Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472

A dish with endless possibilities, this gumbo is a Creole-inspired explosion of flavor. The basic recipe is a foundation, and subtle spice shifts can accentuate specific flavors and be nuanced to pair with an array of wines. For a vegetarian version, omit the meat and shrimp and substitute cremini mushrooms, zucchini and beans.

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large onions, chopped
  • 6 large red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 8 celery stalks, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 cans (each 28 ounces) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 4 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced
  • 4 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked
In a heavy 13-quart pot over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil until very hot and almost smoking. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is dark reddish brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and browned, about 20 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes with juices, sausage and chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the okra and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 5 minutes. Season the gumbo to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Garnish with the parsley and serve with steamed rice alongside.