Thursday, February 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Gumbo

Can you believe that next Tuesday, March 4, 2014, will be "Fat Tuesday" and time for Mardi Gras? The Lenten season begins the next day, with traditional fasting in preparation for Easter, but during Mardi Gras, and especially Fat Tuesday, the tradition is to indulge in festive foods.  Some of the best food I've ever eaten was in the city of New Orleans, and I've always wanted to visit again during the Mardi Gras festivities. Until that happens, I'll try to make my own little celebration at home.

In past blog posts, I've shown a festive King Cake that I prepared (click here to see that post), and I replicated the best gumbo I ever had, which was at Paul Prudhomme's restaurant in New Orleans (click here to see that post).  Since I'm now watching my active toddler granddaughter during the day, I wanted to prepare something easy, and Gluten-free, that my entire family could enjoy. I decided to try a slow cooker, gluten-free, gumbo!

I was a little concerned at first because a traditional gumbo requires a New Orleans style "roux." A roux is a mix of flour and oil, stirred and cooked until it is a rich, deep brown. This becomes the base of gumbo and also its thickener. I could try a gluten-free flour and oil mix, and add it to the crockpot, but I decided to keep the process as simple as possible and leave it out and add gumbo file powder at the end instead. Gumbo file powder is made from dried and crushed sassafras leaves, and gives a gumbo a desirable flavor, plus thickens it.  Many stores sell it in the spice section, and it is available on many online stores. You can even make your own!

The results of my experiment were superb!  This was a delicious, spicy and hearty gumbo that brought me back to New Orleans in an instant! All I had to do was add all the ingredients to my slow cooker in the morning and by dinner time make some rice, add some defrosted cooked shrimp and the gumbo file powder to the slow cooker, and give a few stirs to blend. Served over a couple scoops of the rice, the gumbo is a complete and delicious meal.

Slow Cooker Gluten-Free Gumbo


2 green peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 long stalks of celery, diced
1 pound Andouille Sausage, sliced  (Andouille sausage can be found in most supermarkets or can be ordered online)
1 pound of boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups diced tomatoes--fresh, or one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 package of frozen sliced okra
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried garlic powder

To add at the end:
one pound fully cooked and peeled, defrosted medium-size shrimp (optional)
two teaspoons gumbo file powder.


Dice peppers, onion, celery.  Slice chicken and Andouille sausage Add all to the slow cooker (I did this the evening before and placed all in the refrigerator so that in the morning all I had to do is add them to the slow cooker).  Add the chicken stock, frozen okra,  diced tomatoes, and all spices. Stir, cover, and let the slow cooker simmer on low for 8-9 hours, or on high 4-5 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, remove the bay leaves from the gumbo, stir in the well defrosted and drained shrimp (if desired) and the two teaspoons of gumbo file powder, and stir well until thickened and the shrimp are warm.  Serve the gumbo over two large scoops of steamed white rice. You can garnish with chopped green onions if desired.


Memories of New Orleans --"Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!"  Let the Good Times Roll!

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Proud Italian Cook said...

It looks so hearty and delicious Pat, perfect for this winter that doesn't want to end!

Daniela said...

Yes Pat the Carnival has begun, here in Venice, Viareggio and nearer to us Sanremo we also have famous cities for these joyful celebrations of this period that I love !
Your Gumbo looks really delicious dear, I'd love to try it ;) !!
Sending hugs across the Ocean, dear, for wishing you a lovely weekend xox

Lynn said...

This sounds good Pat! Pork is on sale and I intended to make that Sunday but think I'll switch to a Mardi Gras dinner menu instead-thanks:@)

diane b said...

I must remember to have Gumbo in New Orleans when we visit there in November. I have never heard of it before. Yo are a great cook.

From the Kitchen said...

I would have been hesitant without first making a roux. Many times, I've burned that roux and had to start over. Glad to know that it can be skipped. Your "pot" looks delicious.


A Bit of the Blarney said...

Look so very delicious!!! Don't know what I would do without my slow cooker!!! Have a wonderful weekend! Cathy

Michelle said...

This looks perfect for my cold, winter weekend!

podso said...

Wow good for you to figure this out gluten free. It looks delicious.

Barbara F. said...

Looks so delicious and perfect for the weather we are still having here! Will look for the ingredients and try this. xo

ellen b. said...

That Gumbo looks real good, Pat!

Margaret said...

Hi Pat! Thank-you, your recipe looks delicious, simple and full of good information! Good timing as we had a wintry weekend last weekend and it sounds like snow again this weekend!! Today tho is marvelous and spring-like :) Wishing you an nice weekend!
Margaret from B.C.

eileeninmd said...

Perfect for a cold winter day.. Looks delicious, pat! Thank for sharing your recipe! Enjoy your weekend!

Barb said...

Pat - my mouth is watering even though we just ate! Must try this. Your crock pot looks so pristine - I wouldn't be taking a photo of mine!

Treat and Trick said...

This delicious combo looks fabulous! Thanks for your lovely comment, do let me know once you've tried my Baked Beignets...

Bonnie said...

I love this recipe and plan to make it next week. We are supposed to be on a low carb diet and the rice will not be good but we will cheat a little. I very like the crock pot idea. Thanks so much.

Going back to look at your links now. Have a good weekend.

Nancy's Notes said...

Pat, oh my heavens, that looks scrumptious!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

New Orleans has some of the most memorable food! I've never made gumbo but your recipe sounds delicious without the roux.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You had me at the word gumbo, Pat. YUM!



Gardening in a Sandbox said...

A hearty soup or stew is just the thing to have waiting for you at the end of the day. Valerie

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi, We are home from a wonderful trip to Arkansas with friends. Photos tomorrow!!!!!

Hope you have had a great week. I lived in Nawlins for about 4 years in the 80's and LOVED it --especially the food. We loved Mardi Gras and all of the celebrations.

Your Gumbo looks incredible. YUM.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I can just imagine how good it smells, too! I put okra in all of my soup....and call it gumbo! heehee! Sweet hugs!

The Gathering Place said...

I hate to admit that I've never had gumbo before. I need to venture out more! Maybe I will get adventurous and try your recipe!

Tracy said...

Bookmarking this one Pat, and thank you! :o) Just before Christmas we bought a Crock-Pot--can finally get them over here!! I'll be using it a lot during let. This year I'll be follow Lent properly for the first time in many years, so this feels very special, and very humbling a time. Just today I posted on the sweet pre-lent treat here--vannbakkels, a sort of French-style pastry bun filled with cream... sooo good! LOL... Fun to catch up with you after a little blog-break. ((HUGS))

Vee said...

The gumbo looks so good, but we are wimps here and can not handle heat at all. Now I am wondering what a wimpy gumbo might taste like. How bad could it be?

genie said...

My daughter has had to be gluten free for a number of years, now. If she gets the least little bit of it, she becomes so ill. I am excited to find another good recipe to fix. I am always trying different ones so I’ll have different things to fix for her when she comes to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

This sounds delicious Pat! You link is now up on my Tasty Tuesday party! Thanks for participating!

bj said...

Ummm, this sounds sooo good. Here from Tasty Tuesday..

Anonymous said...

I must give it a try (if I ever find gumbo here in Italy) thank you for the recipe.

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat I copied the recipe. I use
File in my Gumbo, Oh where can I buy a box of beignets I used to serve them and gumbo at my Inn in N.Carolina.
still brutally cold in Maine