Cajun Chefs Make the Worlds Best Gumbo and Now You Can Too With These Cooking Tips and Recipes

Louisiana is famous for fantastic food and nothing is more popular than the gumbo recipes created by the state’s talented chefs. The wonderful dishes prepared by real Cajuns from the Bayou country are world renown for delicious flavors and millions of diners seek out their food and recipes every year. But the most talked about and sought after dish and surely the most revered is the world famous Louisiana gumbo.

It is quite natural for accomplished chefs to experiment and create new and exciting versions of Louisiana’s most famous food. Although most recipes are simple and rustic, new techniques can be employed to greatly improve the intensity of flavors and bring color and beauty to a Cajun soup that has long been known for it’s mouth watering taste.

Many brilliant chefs have tweaked and modified old traditional recipes to enhance the taste and to add interesting and creative flavors. Their intent is not to significantly change the structure or core elements of the dish but only to improve upon what is already a nearly perfect food. Many have succeeded in this endeavor.

Then there are other chefs who refuse to change the old traditional recipes in any way and choose to prepare only those that are in keeping with the simple and rustic nature gumbo. Of course this is perfectly appropriate.

But the thing that is so great about a chef’s approach is that those who are really good at their work will always try to push the limits on cooking techniques or try different ingredients that can add excitement and depth to a dish with a history as old as the Louisiana Purchase. The result is intensely delicious flavors that are deep, rich and almost intoxicating.

For example pushing the limit on getting the roux really dark without burning is a technique some use to extract the most intensity from the ingredients. A light colored and dainty roux is easy to make but makes a gumbo that falls far short of it’s potential. When making a chicken gumbo, frying the chicken before adding it to the pot adds another level of flavor. Thoughtful and daring chefs will take this extra step to bring chicken gumbo to the pinnacle of flavor.

Most authentic seafood and poultry gumbo varieties will have a smoked meat added. Your talented chefs will use real Cajun andouille and not a run of the mill smoked sausage. Andouille is a Louisiana style sausage that uses lean chunks of pork, has lots of great seasonings and is smoked long and slow using a real smokehouse.

Others will experiment with adding different ingredients that create interesting textures and flavors without significantly changing the essence or attributes that define gumbo. An excellent technique employed by experienced chefs is the use of a flavorful stock made in advance and this becomes the primary liquid base for the gumbo. This approach contributes significantly to the flavor and character of the dish and is an excellent method used to make a really outstanding example of Louisiana’s most famous food. This is a simple technique that anyone can practice at home to make gumbo recipes that will rival a Chef’s best dish.

Here is a recipe for homemade chicken stock that will make your Cajun soup better than ever. This recipe is not only for gumbo and can be used in any recipe requiring stock. This is nothing like canned stock and is so much better it will make the commercial versions seem archaic. It will freeze well and stay fresh for many months.

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe


*In a large pot add 3-4 quarts of water.

*2 pounds Chicken parts like legs, thighs, wings etc. Or one whole chicken. Raw not cooked.

*Two onions quartered.

*4 stalks of celery quartered

*3 carrots quartered

*4 cloves garlic

*1 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (or 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoons cayenne)

*3 bay leaves

*2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

*4 whole peppercorns

*2 cups white cooking wine (optional)

*1 cup smoked sausage


Bring this to a boil then turn heat to low, cover and allow to cook for about 2-3 hours. Longer is better because it takes some time to extract the full flavors from the bones. This is another secret to fabulous gumbos. Extracting that wonderful flavor from the bones adds more richness and great depth while boosting the character of your gumbo.

Of all the secrets and techniques learned over the years this is one of the most important. Take the time to make this wonderful broth. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate. Store it in your freezer and it will keep for months. At any given time you can have several containers of frozen stock just waiting for your next culinary creation.

One more tip. To really intensify and electrify the flavor of your Cajun soup add some smoked meat to your list of ingredients. Don’t have smoked meat? Then go any barbecue restaurant and buy a smoked chicken without the sauce.