Bringing a Taste of Mardi Gras Home

RENO, NV - You don't have to be in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras today. Chef Rachael K shares her family recipe for gumbo using ingredients many people already have at home.

"You can buy or create your own Creole seasoning from cayenne pepper, thyme, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powders then add them into your veggies as they cook," Chef Rachael K said. This blooms the spices which releases the essential oils and boosts the flavor of the spices."

She says mixing your own seasoning cuts sodium and allows you to adjust the spice to your taste.

If you're a fan of spice, adding Andouille sausage, a Creole sausage made with pork, cayenne and then smoked, increased the flavor of the gumbo. Look for it with other sausages.

"It's an easy recipe to make," Chef Rachael K said. "Most of my time is spent cutting the vegetables. Just make sure to use what they cal the 'holy trinity'- bell peppers, onions and celery."


Every Chef in the Bayou has a different recipe of Gumbo and they are all the “right” recipe. Here is my “not so secret anymore” version. This recipe freezes well so make extra for later!


1 Lb.skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - chopped

1 Lb. Andouille Sausage

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 stalks celery, diced

1 sweet onion, sliced

2 Bell peppers, of any color

1/4 cup Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 quarts chicken broth

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 oz. frozen or fresh Okra, sliced (optional)

1 Tbs Gumbo File’ (optional, found in spice section)

8 Cups of COOKED white rice


Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat, and cook sausage until evenly browned and chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain chicken and sausage, reserve drippings, and set aside meat.
In reserved drippings saute the onions, celery, and peppers. Sprinkle the Cajun Seasoning over the veggies and stir into as they cook, add garlic.

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, blend oil and flour to create a roux. Stir constantly until browned and bubbly.

Gradually stir warm chicken broth into the roux mixture. Bring to a boil, and mix in celery, tomatoes, sweet onion, parsley, and okra. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring often.

Mix chicken, sausage, and shrimp and File powder into the broth mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes until thickened. Serve over cooked rice.