Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

okra (Okra.jpg)Recipe courtesy of Susan Guillory

Serves 6 to 8

Serve this Cajun specialty over brown rice.

  • 2 cups chopped okra
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ sweet green pepper, chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley (with stems), chopped (1 cup)
  • 8 to 10 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 cup roux (see recipe below)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut up
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ pound shelled shrimp

Sauté the okra in 2 tablespoons oil until the soft and ropy texture is gone, 10 to 15 minutes. Set it aside.

In a large saucepan heat the remaining oil and sauté the onions, celery, sweet green pepper, parsley, scallions, and garlic until wilted and softened, about 7 minutes.

Add the roux and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then add the okra, chicken, cayenne, bay leaves, and thyme. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for at least 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before serving, add the shrimp. Remove the bay leaves and serve the gumbo over brown rice.

Nutritional information per serving (1/8 of recipe):

Calories: 450 ⁄ Protein: 34 g ⁄ Carbohydrate: 15 g ⁄ Fiber: 3 g ⁄ Sodium: 150 mg
Saturated fat: 6 g ⁄ Polyunsaturated fat: 10 g ⁄ Monounsaturated fat: 11 g 
Trans fat: 0 g ⁄ Cholesterol: 135 mg


Roux is a basic ingredient in Louisiana Cajun cooking. Usually it’s made with shortening, but Susan Guillory’s version uses sesame oil.

Makes 2¾ cups

  • 1 cup sesame oil
  • 2 to 2¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour

Stir the oil and flour together in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, for 25 minutes. The roux will turn a dark golden brown and have the consistency of heavy cream.

Cool the roux and store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator, where it will keep in good condition for several months.

Susan Marie Guillory was the co-founder of Bread & Circus, a pioneering natural foods supermarket.  An authentic Cajun from Louisiana, Susan studied cooking in France, Japan, and China. She was co-chair of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Round Table for 5 years, and she now serves on the Round Table steering committee.

Copyright © Susan Guillory


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