My Death Defying Gumbo

You might realize this is a chicken not Gumbo, I had no picture

of Gumbo AND it is the chicken whose left overs I used for stock to make Gumbo 😀


The first time I read about Gumbo was in a Terry Pratchett book, after stumbling across this curious dish several time more, I decided to research it. I found about as many recipes as there are recipes for pancakes. Each one with its own history and ingredients. I also found that principally it is pretty much like the fish soup my Nigerian friends cook. So I decided to adapt the dish according to the ingredients I can get easily and most important cheaply.

The base

I learned this from my Nigerian friends they call it pepper, but it is a mix of Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Onion and Salt.

6 Scotch Bonnets

1 small onion (or half an onion)

1 teaspoon salt

mortar and pestle or mincing knife

cut the onions and the peppers

then put them into the mortar with the salt grind until you have a paste

or cut as fine as possible with the mincing knife

(depending on the strength of the peppers take 1-2 teaspoons of the pepper as base for your soup)

Warning: some people are allergic to the essential oils of the peppers, hubby’s throat closes up when I am working with Scotch Bonnet and I have to close the kitchen door.

Tip: If you are not allergic, and have a cold – totally blocked nose … fry up some Scotch Bonnet and the oils will free your sinuses instantly

Tip: Scotch Bonnet can greatly vary in its strength. I talked to the veggie trader and he told me it depends on where the peppers come from. If they are grown in Asia they are less hot, even mild as oppose to the ones grown in Africa. Has something to do with the climate and sun intensity etc.

The Soup

I never make Gumbo in a small pot – that somehow does not work. So imagine my 10 liter soup pot – but I usually make only about 7 liters.


3 Knacker (knackwurst you can also use Chorizo or what is easiest available to you, but best are smoked spicy sausages)

2 liter Chicken Stock (Fish Stock or Veggie Stock)

2 hand full of Okra

5 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons pepper (the base)

2 carrots

1 leek

2 celery sticks

1 large onion (or 2 medium sized)

  • 1 hand full scampi (shrimps)
  • 1 hand full squid
  • 1 hand full mussels … If you cannot get these fresh buy a mixed pack of frozen frutti di mare

This is also to chance to use up fish left overs that would not make a meal on their own

1 large piece of ginger (about the size of 2 chicken eggs)

5 Bay leaves

1 Tablespoon juniper berries

1 Tablespoon pimento

1 Tablespoon black pepper corns

1 hand full of baby tomatoes or 2 normal sized tomatoes

2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • Olive oil, onions (cut), pepper (The Base), Garlic- fry until onions are glassy
  • cut and throw in rest of ingredients
  • fill rest of pot with water till the 7 liter mark
  • cook for about 1,5 hours

Tip: If you like thick soups, cut the Okra in thin slices, they contain natural thickener, if you like me prefer soups clear, cut Okras in half and throw in after the first hour cooking

Tip: Gumbo always tastes better the next day

PS my family remains they only did not catch swine flue from hubby because of my Gumbo ;P

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