New Orleans School of Cooking Gumbo

Have you been boning up on your cooking skills? The staff at Mayflower certainly has been taking this time to practice some of our favorite dishes that we have learned while traveling! One of our beloved meals comes from the famed New Orleans School of Cooking, Gumbo! And we are sharing their recipe for you to make at home!

So What Is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a hearty stew that’s served hot over rice. Gumbo can be made with numerous combinations of fresh or smoked sausage, meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. Gumbo is a symbol of Louisiana cuisine, but its origins are varied and its history complex. As author Toni Tipton-Martin explains in Jubilee, “The word gumbo comes from gombo, the word in several West African languages for okra, which may explain why early renditions of the thick, aromatic stew contained okra, along with vegetables, meat, or seafood.” Other historians posit that gumbo has roots in Choctaw stew; some recipes still call for Native American filé powder, made from dried and ground leaves of sassafras trees, to thicken and flavor the stew. Still others believe that French influence factors in and that gumbo is a derivation of bouillabaisse, a Provencal fish stew. Later, gumbo recipes started to incorporate French and Creole influence by making a roux to thicken the dish.


  • 1 C. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 chicken, cut up or de-boned
  • 8 C. stock or flavored water
  • 1½ lbs. Andouille
  • 2 C. chopped green onions
  • 1 C. flour
  • Cooked Rice
  • Joe’s Stuff seasoning
  • *File’
  • TRINITY: (Next three items)
  • 4 C. chopped onions
  • 2 C. chopped celery
  • 2 C. chopped green pepper

*File’ – A fine green powder of young dried ground sassafras leaves, used in gumbo for flavor and thickening. It may be placed on the table for individuals to add to their gumbo if they wish. ¼ to ½ tsp. per serving is recommended.


Season and brown the chicken in oil, lard, or bacon drippings over a medium heat. Add sausage to pot and sauté with chicken. Remove both from pot.

Make a roux; with equal parts of oil (must be free of food particles to avoid burning) and flour to the desired color. Add onions, celery, and green pepper. Add garlic to the mixture and stir continuously. After vegetables reach desired tenderness, return chicken and sausage to pot and cook with vegetables, continuing to stir frequently. Gradually stir in liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for an hour or more. Season the Gumbo to your taste with Joe’s Stuff Seasoning.

Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add green onions. Serve gumbo over rice or without rice, accompanied by French bread.

Makes 15 – 20 Servings

New Orleans
Pre-Mardi Gras

Experience the excitement, energy, food and parades of New Orleans during Mardi Gras season. See the floats before the big party, learn Creole cooking and visit one of the nation’s best gardens.

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Since 1980,the New Orleans School of Cooking have introduced countless visitors from around the world to the wonderful food and rich culture of New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Their entertaining cooking classes and Louisiana General Store are located in a renovated molasses warehouse built in the early 1800s in the heart of the French Quarter, 524 St. Louis Street.

They teach the basics of Louisiana Cooking in a way you’ll never forget. Fun is a primary ingredient in their kitchen! Our Cajun / Creole experts teach New Orleans specialties such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines, seasoning them with history, trivia and tall tales! We accommodate individuals, private group classes, special events and off-site events. Please see their calendar for a list of daily menus.

The Louisiana General Store is a thoughtful collection of the best locally sourced products, used and loved by  family of New Orleans School of Cooking chefs. They carry a full line of Cajun and Creole products, cookbooks, spices, gift baskets, cookware, and  famous seasoning