Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


It is not often in the summer that we get the craving to eat a hot bowl of hearty gumbo.  But when we were in the Tetons, the rainy afternoons and cool evening lent themselves to the engaging process of making one of Louisiana's most famous dishes.  Each night we were with friends (old and new) and shared great meals at someone’s RV.  It was our turn and we decided to produce a little taste of New Orleans for our western friends.

There are as many versions of gumbo recipes as there are Cajuns in Louisiana.  This is my version.  Not too spicy, but thick, hearty, and full of flavor.  Don’t worry if you have left overs because it tastes better the next day or after it has been frozen for a while.  In fact, I make a full recipe so we can open up the freezer and enjoy a bowl of gumbo the next time the weather turns cool and rainy.

Don’t be scared if you have never made a roux before - the secret is just to keep stirring so it does not burn (as indicated if there are black flecks).  The roux will act as the thickening agent for this yummy goodness and the time you spend doing nothing but stir the roux will be well worth it.  The recipe calls for a “glug” of wine.  I put this in for two reasons.  One is for flavor, and two, so you have an excuse to open a bottle and sip as you’re stirring the roux.  Be careful when adding the Creole spice because some can be very salty and you may not need any additional salt.


½             cup canola oil (or rendered lard)
½             cup flour
1 ½          large onion, small dice (¼ inch pieces)
1              stalk celery, small dice
1              green pepper, seeded, small dice
1              jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
2              cloves garlic, minced
1 ½          quarts chicken stock
6              chicken thighs, skinless, boneless (or 1 whole chicken cut up into pieces)
2              tablespoons creole spice
2              sprigs fresh thyme
1              bay leaf
1 ½          tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1              glug of wine
½             cup smoked sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
½             cup Andouille sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
2              green onions, sliced
                Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
                Salt and pepper, to taste


Make a roux by heating a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over high heat.  When the pan is really hot, add the oil and continue heating until it shimmers.  Slowly whisk in the flour and whisk continuously for five minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to whisk until the roux takes on a dark brown color, about 30 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and add the onions stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add the celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the chicken stock.  Add the chicken thighs and cook for 7 minutes, stirring often.  Add the creole spice, thyme, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, wine, and smoked and Andouille sausages.  Cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally and skimming fat as necessary.  Remove the chicken pieces and shred with a fork.  Return the chicken to the pan and add the green onions, Tabasco, and salt and pepper and cook another 15-20 minutes.  Skim any additional fat and readjust Creole seasoning, salt and pepper.

Serve with steamed white rice.

Serves 8-10


  1. As a bona fide Cajun from Lafayette, I can "tole you dat looks like sum good gumbo!"

  2. This looks so good I think I can smell it cooking! I will try this recipe when it cools down around here.


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