Rich and hearty shrimp gumbo recipe is laden with tender shrimp, crabmeat, oysters and herbs and spices for an authentic Creole flavor.
Every summer, my family and I try to make a short trip to the Alabama coast for a few days. We rent a condo with a kitchen and typically prepare our own meals. Not only is it cheaper to do it that way, but who in their right mind wants to drag two hungry and exhausted kids out in public? Hungry + exhausted = melt down. No thanks.
However, at least one of those nights The Husband and I have to splurge on some really good seafood gumbo from one of our favorite seafood markets, Lartigue’s. We buy a quart for dinner and a gallon to take home.
Over the years, The Husband and I have eaten our fair share of gumbo. But to this day, the seafood gumbo at Lartigue’s remains our favorite. Those of you who travel with kids know that vacationing with little ones is never relaxing. So, after a day on the beach, we both look forward to hot showers, putting the kids to bed, and sitting out on the balconey with a bowl of gumbo, a glass of white wine, and listening to the waves.
A few weeks ago, The Husband and I were reminiscing over Lartigue’s gumbo. It’s at least another six months until our beach trip. That’s when I decided to try recreating the recipe myself. We picked the perfect weekend for it. The boys were away and it was bitterly cold outside.
I have eaten a lot of gumbo over the years and I’ve cooked my fair share as well. Since sharing my recipe for chicken and sausage gumbo, I’ve discovered that a roux that starts with melted butter rather than oil produces a better flavor.
Keeping with the seafood theme, I opted to use homemade shrimp stock. Shrimp stock is just as easy to prepare as chicken stock. Check out my post here on how to make it. It really adds another level of flavor to the gumbo. But, if you would prefer to skip that step, chicken broth is just fine.
Every gumbo recipe has to include the trinity – onions, bell peppers and celery. You will find that combo in a lot of Cajun an Creole cooking. I added the traditional andouille (you could also use smoked sausage) and shredded chicken thighs, then loaded the pot up with seafood – oysters, crab meat, and of course shrimp.
I would love to do a blind taste test one day to see how my seafood gumbo compared to Lartigue’s. But on a chilly winter’s night with no beach vacation in the very near future, I thought this seafood gumbo recipe it was pretty darn good.
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Seafood Shrimp Gumbo
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup flour
- 2 cups yellow onion diced
- 1 cup green pepper diced
- 1 ½ cups celery diced
- 7 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 ½ quarts shrimp seafood or chicken stock*
- 2 large chicken thighs skin removed
- 1 pound andouille sausage or smoked sausage cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch crab legs optional
- ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups frozen okra
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 cans 8 ounces each oysters
- 1 8 ounce can crab claw meat
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
- ½ cup green onions chopped
Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
Whisk in flour a little at a time until there are no lumps and a thick and creamy roux begins to form. Cook the roux until it turns a light brown color, like the color of caramel. Stir constantly! Be patient and don’t let the roux burn. If you burn the roux, you must start over again.
After roux is cooked, add the onions, peppers and celery. Cook for about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the chicken stock. Whisk constantly to prevent lumps.
Add sausage and chicken to pan.
Add the diced tomatoes, crab legs (if using), Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, paprika, oregano, hot sauce, thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper.
Bring gumbo to a boil, uncovered, and then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for an hour.
Remove the chicken thighs and set aside to cool.
Add okra and simmer for another hour.
Shred the chicken meat. Discard the bones.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the shredded chicken meat, shrimp, oysters, crab meat and parsley.
Remove two bay leaves and crab legs before serving.
Serve gumbo over hot, cooked rice. Garnish with green onions
Recipe for homemade shrimp stock can be found here: