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Grandma Val's New Year's Creole Gumbo: The Recipe

Updated: Dec 23, 2022


Meat & Poultry

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage OR andouille sausage

  • ½ pound chopped ham OR bacon, turkey or chicken (I used turkey legs from Christmas Dinner).


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 dash of cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • Kosher salt and garlic salt to taste

Trinity Mix

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • ¾ cup chopped bell pepper

  • 2 celery stalks

  • Celery salt and kosher salt to taste


  • 2 quarts chicken stock

  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Optional: filé powder or okra to thicken the stock


  • 3 King Crab legs in the shell

  • 2 pounds medium sized raw deveined shrimp

  • 3 8 ounce jars oysters


  • Dutch oven or cast iron skillet

  • Large covered soup pot

  • Slotted spoon

  • Large spoons or ladles

  • Tasting spoons


Brown the sausage in the skillet. Stir in the chopped turkey (or ham, bacon, or chicken). Using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside the sausage and turkey from the skillet, keeping the drippings in the pan.


  • In a small bowl, combine the flour and spices.

  • Over low heat, pour the vegetable oil in the skillet with the drippings. Add the flour mixture. Stir constantly for 20-25 minutes. The roux will be smooth with a copper color.

  • Note: Many people prefer a dark roux- the color of dark chocolate. This particular recipe and method make a copper color.

  • Sauté the trinity mix and garlic cloves in the roux.


  • Pour the chicken stock into the large soup pot over medium heat.

  • Add the crab legs in the shells to the stock. (The shells will help season the stock).

  • Note: Many people like to boil the shrimp shells with the stock as well.

  • Add the roux, tomato sauce, chopped parsley, and bay leaves.

  • Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Optional: If you prefer a thicker stock, add filé powder or okra as desired.


  • Lightly sear the shrimp in the skillet with the residue from the roux.

  • Add the shrimp and oysters to the large soup pot with the stock.

  • Simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste and add additional seasoning if desired.

Serve in soup bowls over white rice.


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