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Papa Jack's Gumbo

Although I don’t have memories of Papa Jack, I remember my mom cooking his recipes my entire life. Papa Jack was my grandfather who died when I was 2. Mother made this gumbo for Christmas Eve every year. She worked on it for days that began with making homemade broth. Don’t be intimidated by all of the ingredients. It’s really not hard at all. Your family will love you for it.

Papa Jack's Gumbo


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup oil

1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped

1-2 pounds link sausage, chopped into bite size pieces

1-2 pounds peeled shrimp

1 bundle celery, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 yellow onions, chopped

10 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

1 bundle green onions, chopped

12 cups chicken broth (homemade is always best)

6 ounce can tomato paste

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons basil

3 bay leaves

3 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes

4 beef bouillon cubes

24 ounce okra

Gumbo file' (optional)

Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

Salt to taste


In your largest cast iron pot or soup pot, make the roux by combining the flour and oil. Stir continuously on low heat until the roux is a nice golden brown, about the color of brown sugar. Add in the celery, bell peppers, onions and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the proteins and the okra. When adding the tomatoes, crush each tomato with your hand. Bring gumbo up to a slow simmer for at least an hour. Stir often to keep from sticking. Check for salt. Lastly, add chicken, sausage, shrimp and okra. Bring back to a simmer for about 30 more minutes. If the gumbo is too thick, add some more broth or water. Adjust the color with the Kitchen Bouquet. Serve over warm rice with crunchy French bread. Best if made the day before serving.

FNPP Papa Jack's Gumbo
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