Cooking in the Time of COVID: Cassell family gumbo


Image by Jada Teague

Pamela Hawkins , Contributing Writer

Cassell Family Gumbo with Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes Total Time: 2 hours Servings:20-30

This recipe can be halved or doubled.


  • Half a stock of celery
  • 4 green onions
  • Half a white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2-3 pounds of meat (I will be using 1lb of cooked and shredded chicken, 1lb of pre-cooked sausage and 1lb of frozen shrimp)
  • 1 package of Gumbo Base Mix; OR ⅔ cup oil; OR 1 cup all-purpose flour (can be gluten free)
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth, chicken stock, water, or some combination of the three (The more you add the thinner the broth and more it serves. Remember you can always add more, but never take away.)
  • 2 tsp Cajun or Creole Seasoning
  • Optional: Gumbo File
  • 2 cups cut okra (I used frozen)


  • Wash your celery, green onions, onion and bell pepper and finely chop (the smaller they are the better).
  • Mix the chopped vegetables together.
  • If using sausage, slice into ¼ inch slices.
  • If using chicken, you can season and boil the chicken until done and then shred it using 2 forks. Or to save time, you can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it.


The Roux (skip 1-4 if using Mix)

  • If not using a Gumbo Base Mix, put oil and flour into a skillet and put on medium heat.
  • Cook until it reaches a melted chocolate color stirring frequently to prevent burning. Approximately 20-30 minutes
  • Note: It will smell burnt, but if it is not black, you are fine.
  • Take off heat and continue to stir for a couple of minutes as the pan is still hot enough to burn it.
  • Set to the side.

Sauté the Vegetables

  • Heat another skillet on medium, melt the stick of butter.
  • Once the butter has melted, add in the chopped vegetables.
  • Sauté on low until they are soft stirring occasionally. Approximately 20 minutes
  • Note: To save time you can sauté the vegetables while making the Roux.
  • Take off heat and set to the side.

Make the Broth

  • Heat chicken broth/chicken stock/water to a boil.
  • Add in roux or Gumbo Base Mix, sautéed vegetables, Cajun seasonings, and slap ya mama. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and cook for 5 minutes.

Make Gumbo

  • Add in sausage, chicken, and okra. Cook until okra is soft. Approximately 20 minutes
  • Add in shrimp. Cook until shrimp is done. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
  • Each person can add Gumbo File to their individual bowls if they wish.

Typically served over rice with saltine crackers.

Can be frozen for up to 4 months.