Seafood Gumbo

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    8 or more


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

This gumbo was prepared in my kitchen by that greatest of Cajun and Creole chefs, Paul Prudhomme, whose name appears frequently in this book. To be absolutely authentic, he told me, you would have to use smoked andouille, a staple in New Orleans meat markets, but, like tasso, not widely available outside Louisiana. The Polish sausage, kielbasa, is used as a substitute and is widely available.


  • ¾ cup peanut, vegetable, or corn oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 cups finely chopped sweet green peppers
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • pounds Polish sausage (kielbasa), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or drained canned imported tomatoes
  • 2 quarts Seafood Stock
  • 4 live blue crabs, optional
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined; reserve the shells for Seafood Stock
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat


  1. Put the oil and flour in a heavy kettle. Cook, stirring with a wire whisk or flat wooden spoon, until the flour goes through several changes of color: beige, light brown, dark brown, light red, and a slightly darker red. You must keep stirring constantly. The cooking will take 5 minutes or slightly longer. This is a roux. Set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onions, green peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Add the sausage and stir.
  3. Add the oregano, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne, white and black peppers, salt, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to the boil and let simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato-and-sausage mixture to the roux. Bring to the boil, stirring, and let cook 1 hour.
  5. If the blue crabs are used, pull off and discard the apron at the base on the underside of each crab. Cut the crabs in half and pull off and discard the spongy “dead man’s fingers.” Cut each crab half in 2 pieces and add to the kettle. Let simmer 1 minute.
  6. Add the shrimp and crabmeat. Stir. Cover and set aside 15 minutes. Serve with rice.