National Gumbo Day is just a few days away, celebrated annually on October 12. While that day is a great time to enjoy the hearty and savory state dish of Louisiana, gumbo is a perfect bit of indulgence any day, anywhere.
Smoked Chicken, Duck and Andouille Gumbo
The seasonally inspired gumbo at Poydras & Peters at Loews New Orleans Hotel currently features all locally sourced meats including house smoked chicken, smoked duck, duck confit and pork Andouille sausage from Creole country.
The stock base is a dark roux mixed with the “Holy Trinity” of celery, bell peppers and onions. Then, the chicken and duck are smoked over pecan wood to give it a nuttier flavor before adding it to the pot, and seasoned with a mix of creole spices including garlic, cayenne, black pepper, kosher salt, thyme and paprika. It’s simmered with local Abita Amber and Crystal Hot Sauce for an extra kick of flavor, and served over rice topped with parsley and tender green onion tops.
“We always have a gumbo option on our menu, and it’s customary in Louisiana to change your gumbo with the seasons. While spring and summer are predominantly lighter and seafood based, fall and winter feature heartier, meat based gumbos as it’s hunting season and locals are able to utilize their harvest in their weekly gumbo batches. These gumbos also tend to be thicker in consistency because they have a greater roux to stock ratio than seafood gumbo. We do a traditional New Orleans style with a French dark roux and finish it off with Okra which is a natural thickener, and also one of the two main ingredients which gumbo derives its name from,” said executive chef Drew Mills.
Gumbo Shrimp Pot Pie
Chef Darnell Ferguson of SuperChefs, based in Louisville, Kentucky, created a Gumbo Shrimp Pot Pie by mixing two classic dishes into one. He uses a pan and stovetop in lieu of an oven traditionally used when making pot pies. Darnell blends together seasoned shrimp with gruyere cheese and sautéed carrots, celery, and onion and serves it in a parmesan encrusted bowl. “It is my interpretation of what a gumbo could be if you were never raised around gumbo. By nature I’m not a fan of gumbo or a pot pie, but they each have things I do like.. for gumbo it’s the seafood and for pot pie it’s the crust,” said chef Darnell Ferguson.
At Jack Rose in New Orleans, the bustling and festive restaurant at the Pontchartrain Hotel (think Cham-bongs!), chef and owner Brian Landry serves up a creative duck & andouille gumbo with Cajun country rice. According to Landry, “We are currently using duck in our gumbo at Jack Rose. It has a richer and gamier flavor than chicken, so adds a level of depth to the gumbo and a bit more intense flavor.”
Chicken & Boudin Gumbo
At Copper Vine, executive chef Mike Brewer and chef de cuisine Amy Mehrtens offer a creative twist on traditional gumbo and use boudin instead of andouille. Boudin is a combination of pork and dirty rice in a sausage casing. This offers a spicier flavor than traditional gumbo and adds a bit more texture to the dish.
Curried Blue Crab + Gulf Shark Gumbo
This dish really spotlights what makes Marjie’s Grill in New Orleans so unique – the melding of southeast Asian flavors with Louisiana Gulf ingredients and cooking techniques. With this dish, chef Marcus incorporates a Thai-style curry chili paste into the roux and brightens the final dish with a squeeze of lime juice and fresh herbs.
Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina, makes a next level seafood gumbo with a filet of perfectly crispy fried flounder that includes shrimp, crab, crispy fried flounder, Andouille sausage and Anson Mills rice.
“There’s nothing better than a piping hot, fragrant bowl of good gumbo,” said Jason Reed, chef de cuisine at Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen. “At Florence’s our gumbo is truly a love letter to Charleston – we include copious amounts of fresh, local shrimp and crab but it’s the crispy fried flounder that really gives ours an edge,” he added.
At Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House and Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas, this is a traditional New Orleans gumbo with shrimp, okra and andouille sausage served over white rice. “This classic New Orleans dish is packed with shrimp and andouille sausage, providing layers of rich flavors and making it a guest favorite. As we head into cooler temperatures, this dish is also great to take off the chill as it’s the perfect mix of savory and Creole spice,” said chef Ken Lum, chef de cuisine at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House.
This unexpected, yet delicious twist on two traditional dishes from chefs Thomas Dunklin and Kyle Rourke is the latest example of what Portland, Oregon’s The Waiting Room does best – taking the Louisiana comfort food they are known for and creating their own imaginative spin. The Gumbo Ramen is made with Andouille spice pork belly, collard greens, crispy okra, a deviled egg, and green onion in a pork gumbo broth.
Ina Mae’s Gumbo Ya-Ya
At Ina Mae Tavern in Chicago, named after chef Brian Jupiter’s great grandmother, is known for southern and Louisiana cooking inspired by chef Jup’s childhood. After years of cooking gumbo while growing up in New Orleans, chef Jup has added his rendition of the classic dish to the Ina Mae menu. What makes this gumbo so unique is the melody of seafood, chicken and sausage. Ina Mae’s Gumbo Ya-Ya can be purchased by the cup or bowl and includes shrimp, Andouille sausage, crab, crawfish, chicken, okra, rice, and potato, which results in a flavorful, comforting gumbo.