Recipe courtesy of Clida Ellison

Clida Ellison's Louisiana Gumbo with Andouille, Chicken, Crab and Oysters

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 25 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 25 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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One 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup vegetable oil 

1 1/2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika 

2 celery ribs, strings removed and diced 

2 small Spanish onions, diced 

1 1/2 banana peppers, seeded and diced 

1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 pounds Alaskan king crab legs 

1 1/2 pounds fresh Andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled (tails left attached) and deveined 

8 oysters, shucked 

1/4 cup file powder (see Cook's Note)

Steamed white rice, for serving


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 1 hour. Strain the chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heat-safe bowl. Set aside 8 cups of stock for the gumbo and refrigerate or freeze the rest to use another time. Set the chicken pieces aside and once they are cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones leaving it in large pieces. (Discard the skin.) Set aside.
  2. Add the flour and vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven set over medium heat and whisk together to combine. Whisk in the paprika and cook the roux, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a deep dark coffee brown color, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Add the celery, onion, banana peppers and bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to turn translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the crab legs, Andouille. 8 cups of the stock and the pulled chicken. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the crab legs and Andouille are cooked through, about 1 hour. Stir in the Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, black pepper, cayenne, shrimp and oysters. Turn off the heat and, while stirring constantly, add the file powder. Once it is completely incorporated, cover the pot and let the gumbo rest until the shrimp turn bright pink and the gumbo thickens, about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Cook’s Note

File powder, also called gumbo file, is made from ground sassafras leaves and helps to thicken the gumbo sauce. It can be found in most grocery stores in the spice aisle.