Crawfish and Sausage Gumbo

Here’s my recipe for Crawfish and Sausage Gumbo. I have done this one a number of times and it comes out great. I make a dark roux, so the finished gumbo is almost a chocolate brown in color. I have made this with shrimp and sausage; and chicken and sausage. For the chicken I usually get one of the rotisserie chickens from the grocery store and use all the chicken meat in the gumbo–just tear it up and put it in after the sausage. Or you can used boiled shrimp. Get 2-3 pounds of good gulf shrimp (they don’t have to be large in size–medium is fine). If you have to use frozen, it won’t taste as good. Boil the shrimp using Zatarain’s or Rex Shrimp boil and follow the directions on the box. Get the crab boil that has all the spices in a mesh bag.


4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 tablespoon cayenne or to taste
Louisiana Hot Sauce (preferably Crystal)
1 large yellow onion
1 large bell pepper (green pepper)
8 - 12 green onions
3 - 5 links of smoked sausage
5 pounds live crawfish
8 cups chicken stock
cooked rice

To start out you need to boil the crawfish. Here is my crawfish boil recipe that is adapted from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s recipe (so you know it’s good):

5 pounds of live crawfish
3 oz. cayenne pepper
1 oz. Tabasco sauce
4 cloves garlic - cut in half
6 lemons cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 bay leaves
1 oz. Louisiana Hot Sauce
6 oz. salt
2 bags Zatarain’s or Rex crab and shrimp boil

Put everything except the crawfish in a very large stock pot (the crawfish and ingredients displace a lot of water so make sure you have enough space in the pot and don’t over fill with water). After this comes to a boil let it boil for 10 minutes. While the water is coming to a boil, soak the crawfish in heavily salted fresh cold water to clean them.

Put the crawfish in the boiling water, after the water starts boiling again, cook for 10 minutes. Turn the fire off and let the crawfish soak for another 10 minutes. Strain out the crawfish and let them cool. Now you need to peel the crawfish and retain the tail meat.

Some people might not want to go to this trouble boiling the crawfish like this, but it really gives them the proper taste.

Now that the crawfish is done, you need to cook the sausage (these can be cooked at the same time). Cut up the sausage into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices. Then brown them in a fry pan. I cook the sausage first to give them more flavor and to cook some of the grease off. When done, drain the sausage on paper towels.

Now cut up the vegetables in a medium dice. The vegetables need to be all cut up prior to making the roux.

Before making the roux heat your stock, it needs to be at a simmer when the roux and vegetables are done cooking. And you don’t want to be messing around with the stock while you’re cooking the roux since the roux needs constant stirring.

Making the ROUX - my favorite part, or at least the most important part of the gumbo. Heat up a large skillet pan, one that is large enough to cook the vegetables in. Put the oil in the pan and mix the flour in with the oil. Stir the two ingredients together thoroughly. The pan should be on a fairly high heat or cooking the roux will take a real long time. On a high heat it will take 10 - 20 minutes. You need to keep stirring the flour and oil constantly, you don’t want it to burn. After a few minutes it will start turning color. You need to keep stirring and cooking the roux until it turns the color of a Hershey Bar–a nice chocolate color. When the roux is done, quickly mix in the vegetables with the roux, this will stop the roux from cooking. Turn the heat down to medium.

Keep stirring the vegetables and roux together and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are softened and the mixture is becoming one. The smell at this point of the roux and the vegetables cooking is one of my favorite smells in cooking. Now spoon the roux mixture into the simmering stock and mix well. Also add the sausage. Let this simmer covered on low heat for 45 minutes. Add the cayenne and stir. While simmering stir occasionally.

After 45 minutes add crawfish and cook another 10 minutes. At this point turn off the heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes–it’s now done. Serve in bowls with some rice in the bottom of each bowl (cook the rice while the gumbo is simmering). I like a healthy portion of Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce in my gumbo. But you only need to add it after you serve it, some people love it and some people don’t. The gumbo will be great without it.

This gumbo takes awhile to make. The version that takes the least amount of time is with chicken and sausage, but that still takes about an hour and a half.

This will give you 5-6 bowls of gumbo with extra for seconds.