Emeril's Country File Gumbo

Total Time:
2 hr
45 min
1 hr 15 min

3 quarts

  • 1 1/2 cups Medium Dark Roux, see How To Roux, recipe follows
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 quarts shrimp, crab or chicken stock
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds, browned in a skillet, and drained on paper towels
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/3 cup green onion tops, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup file powder, or to taste
  • Steamed White Rice, for serving
  • Heat the roux in a medium-sized heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Stir mixture until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the browned sausage, bay leaves, Worcestershire, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

  • Bring gumbo to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until gumbo is slightly reduced, about 50 minutes. (Gumbo should cook long enough for the roux flavor to mellow and for any floury taste to dissipate.)

  • Season the shrimp with the Essence in a small bowl. Stir in the seasoned shrimp, crabmeat, green onions, parsley, thyme and basil. Cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Sprinkle in file powder and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more, or pass file at the table for guests to thicken as desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

  • Serve in warmed soup bowls over steamed white rice.

How to Roux:
  • 3 cups vegetable oil

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • Place a heavy, iron Dutch oven, (or iron skillet with deep sides) over medium heat and heat the oil until just smoking. Whisk in flour, a little at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until roux becomes smooth and thick. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon and reaching all over bottom of pan, until roux darkens to desired color. Be careful not to produce specs of black. The roux must remain an even color throughout process. If specs appear you must start over.

  • For a Light Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the color of peanut butter. Remove about 1 cup of the light colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for the Delmonico's Seafood Okra Gumbo.

  • For a Medium Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the color of a copper penny when ready. Remove about 13/4 cups of the medium colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for Emeril's Country File Gumbo.

  • For a Dark Brown Roux, cook the mixture an additional 35 to 45 minutes. The color should resemble dark chocolate when ready. Remove all of the remaining dark roux from the pan and cool completely. Set aside for the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

  • Yield: about 4 1/2 cups roux

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Cook Time: 2 hours

  • Inactive Prep Time:

  • NOTE: The timings for various shades of roux will vary depending on the cooktop as well as the amount of roux made. (A smaller amount will cook in much less time.) If this is your first time making a roux, the slower you cook it, the less likely you will be to burn it. The important thing is to cook the roux to the desired color, as specified above.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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Cooking Tips
4.2 31
I tried this recipe and it was delicious, however I think that 1/2 cup file powder is too much. Is 1/2 cup a typo? I will try it again starting by adding the file powder one tablespoon at a time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe and it was delicious, however I think that 1/2 cup file powder is too much. Is 1/2 cup a typo? I will try it again starting by adding the file powder one tablespoon at a time. BC from CT item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best Gumbo recipe! Thank you!!!!!! My guests for our Mardi Gras party in Utah loved it. They'd never had Gumbo before. We brought the wonderful New Orleans food recipes with us when we moved from NOLA. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanx you chief God has bless you to be a top of the line southern Louisiana cook .love you very much I wish I can go to one of your cooking school.I love to cook my computer is on spell check it's telling me that you name is spell different . God bless you Yvette Martin. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go-to recipe for Gumbo. I made it for the first time as a birthday dinner for my boyfriend last year. Major success. I made the exact amount of roux needed by using equal parts vegetable oil and flour and it tasted perfect. I've made it several times and seem to remember adding two diced chicken breasts along with the other meat once or twice. I also skipped the file powder as I couldn't find it anywhere locally and didn't feel the need to order off line. I did a little research and learned that in addition to adding flavor it was used for thickening. I prob thickened with corn starch if anything. At any rate make this, it's tha best! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first attempt at Gumbo, and what better to try then an Emeril recipe. Please note the yield on the Roux recipe. If you want to reduce the time needed for your Roux, only make a half batch. Be careful with the heat if you are using an electric stovetop, and don't stop stirring!!! I'm not sure if it was something I did, but after the 50 minutes of cooking the gumbo was just a bit too thick. I added 1 more cup of chicken broth and it came to the perfect consistency. I substituted oysters for the crab meat. I also let my guests add the File to their liking at the table. It came out FANTASTIC. Emeril did an amazing job with this recipe and the seasonings. The spice level was perfect. Browning the sausage rounds really brought that grilled flavor to them, and the fresh basil and thyme at the end really brought great fresh herb flavor to the dish. Adding the seafood at the end allowed the shrimp to maintain a good firm texture. Overall this recipe is AWESOME! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't follow a particular recipe. I review them and concoct my own with what I have on hand at home. Made gumbo today and let it cook for a few hours. Used a medium dark roux, sausage, ground turkey, okra, celery, onions, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, chicken stock, can of tomatoes,even threw in some corn I had and brown basmati rice. I don't eat white rice. Came out pretty good. I was out of File and was not going to the store for it. Came out good anyway. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ah-mazing. Getting the Roux to the right color is key. It takes time, but it is worth it. I ladled some broth into a small cup; then stirred in 1 tsp of file powder, then returned this to the pot and stirred to combine. DO NOT USE THE AMOUNT OF FILE INDICATED IN THE RECIPE. IT WILL RUIN THE DISH. item not reviewed by moderator and published
To the guy from GA, you're dumb; you can't put 1 star on a review when you didn't even try it because you were scared. To everyone else out there with some sense, this is a very good gumbo recipe. I like how he explained how to do the different colored rouxs as I like mine darker for gumbo. The only thing I did different was add oysters, and it was awesome. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My daughter wanted to try Gumbo after seeing the latest Disney film. It was not a big surprise that this was too spicy for her, but mom & dad loved it. Making the roux was an athletic event, but worth it. My local grocer does not carry file, so I want to try it again after tracking this down. & the next time around I will double the andouille sausage because it was too good & I was snacking on it even before it found its way into the pot. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This gumbo was slap yo mama good. Try boiling your shrimp shells and putting the broth in the mix too, do the file to taste when you dish it up, and a few black specks will not hurt the taste one bit. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just a bit of advice for novice gumbo makers. First if you have a hard time finding the file' there are several onlne sites that have it, Penderys.com is where i get mine. As far as using the file', if you want to add it to the entire pot please don't add it at the end unless it's AFTER you turn the fire off. DO NOT boil it after you add it or you will end up with a nasty slimy mess I promise you. I really don't understand why this recipe calls for cooking it an additional 2 minutes. Another downfall to doing it this way is if you have any leftovers you have to be very careful reheating it... again you cannot boil it. To avoid this, add the file' directly to the roux after it's hot (or if you have not made it ahead of time, then add it when it has reached the desired darkness) and stir it just long enough to incorporate then add the vegies and saute them as usual. This is my prefered method. One more thing, if you do scorch your roux even just a slight bit, please do not use it. Start over or you will ruin the entire gumbo. The success of gumbo is based entirely on the roux but don't let that frighten you away from trying it and if it doesn't turn out perfect the first time please keep trying, some things just take a little practice but a good pot of gumbo is soooooo worth it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made gumbo several times in the past with great succes, but, knowing Emeril is from Louisiana, I wanted to try one of his. I kept the base ingredients the same, but changed the filler componants. I also doubled the recipe since it was for a social gathering. I don't eat seafood so I eliminated those and instead tripled the amount of sausage and added over two pounds of chicken breasts that I baked in olive oil and Emeril's Essence, quite liberally. I added two cans of diced tomatoes and four cups of sliced, frozen okra?that I added with the herbs. I have never made a roux like the one in this recipe. I should probably should have taken it off sooner than I did because it ended up looking similar to the color of chocolate, but it worked and tasted WONDERFUL!!! It actually continued to darken after I took it off the heat. I wish the recipe stated that?know that for next time. I couldn't find file powder either, which I have used in the past, but I have since found out that they don't carry that in our state. Oh well. Turned out I didn't need it. It was thick enough as is. It was DELICIOUS!! even doubling the recipe, there was maybe only 2 good sized servings left!!! Will DEFINITELY be making this again!! :) Yum-O!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
That's why it is called "file" gumbo. Just a different version. No need to get all caught up in semantics. Other than that, this is a decent recipe if you play around with it a bit to suit your personal taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe for the roux is more than 3 times what you need to make this recipe. If you only use 1 1/2 as instructed everything will turn out like it's supposed to. I only used 1/4 File Powder. I think 1/2 cup is a bit much. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone who lives here will tell you, " Gumbo takes hours from start to finish!" Unlike his recipe for Mirliton, (he refers to the mirliton as an alligator pear) don't ever try to cook an AVACATO, it will simply melt. Not enough water for the amount of roux, if you were making a gravy, yes, gumbo, no. Try half the roux and you should get that brownish colored broth, not a paste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I couldn't get past the super thick roux. Even after I added the stock it stayed a paste. I followed the instructions carefully and ended up having to go to plan B. Threw this away before completing the meal. What a waste! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I deviated from this recipe just a little according to my tastes. However, the end product was delicious. It didn't take very long to make (considering how long some gumbos take). item not reviewed by moderator and published
file = powdered sassafras leaves. gumbo = French/African word for okra. A gumbo style recipe without file or okra is called jambalya. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Was very tasty, but it does not look very appetizing. Kind of a mushy, muddy color looking blob. I think I will use less roux next time, and definetley saute the vegetables first and then add the roux. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very close to a "family" recipe...Very Authentic and delicious!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first attempt at Gumbo. My husband asked me to make it again even before he finished what was on his plate! It wasn't difficult - just time consuming. I actually put everything in the crockpot just before adding the chicken broth and let it cook on low all afternoon. I also added some shrimp. Terific recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
A new orleans native item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very popular at my house item not reviewed by moderator and published
The yield for this recipe is missing. that's pretty important. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first time I had ever made and eaten gumbo. I followed the recipe to the tee except for the file power. The gumbo was great! I watched the Emeril's show when he made it so I had a good idea of what to do. It tasted great and was easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I highly recommend Paul Prudhomme's 'Louisiana Kitchen'. He gives great instruction on making Roux. It takes no time to make a dark roux (cajun napalm), but use a long handled wooden spoon to protect yourself. Also, from experience, once you stir file powder into anything, it cannot be reheated. I sprinkle a little over the rice and spoon the Gumbo over it. Good luck! I'm on my way back to N'awlins for '06 Mardi Gras. My husband's home town. To bad our favorite restaurant is still closed due to Katrina (Commander's Palace). item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thick, lots of flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I successfully made other delicious gumbo recipes before. Unfortunately, this recipe turned out to be a total disaster, to horror of my 12 dinner guests. While the overall flavor was fine, but certainly not the best I?ve had, the real problem is the recipe?s inclusion of 1/2 cup of file powder. The minute I began adding this (off the heat) the entire pot turned from a beautiful brown, to a disgusting, dark green slimy blob. This, after 6 hours of careful prep. If you do want to risk making this recipe, I highly recommend not adding any file powder or let you guests risk it at the table. The recipe might be fine with a 1/2 tablespoon of file, but certainly not a half cup. Makes me nervous about making any of Emerill?s recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe! There are only a couple of things I would do differently. I'm not sure why it says to cook the roux for an hour and a half. It got to the medium dark stage in less than half the time with my stove set on low. Also, I would saute the trinity (onions, peppers & celery) in a little butter or olive oil before putting the roux in. The roux burns very quickly and I had to put the stock in before they had a chance to cook. I also live in the northeast so I couldn't find any file powder. I looked on-line and there really is no substitute for ground sassafras leaves. I think I will up the amount of roux I use to make it just a little thicker. This was my very first time cooking and eating gumbo and I will definitely be making this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published