View Full Version : Gumbo Roux

07-16-2005, 11:58 AM
This goes to all those that are good at making gumbo/roux. I am not much of a seafood fanatic so i have tried to make chicken & sausage gumbo multiple times and have failed every time. I end up throwing it down the garbage disposal it was so bad. Every time i end up burning the roux. I always cook the roux in a cast iron pot. I have tried anywhere from high (paul prudhommes cookbook recommends high). I even have a picture of the different stages of the roux that i sit right by me when im cooking the gumbo. Every single time it comes out burned. I guess thats where my problem is to tell the difference when it is burned or when it is dark brown roux which is what your suppose to use for chicken & sausage gumbo. Another thing that makes it hard is we don't have gumbo in this area. Hence, i have never tried it but it looks so good and i really like spicy food. I have made jambalaya with no problem and i really like it i hae just never had sucess at gumbo and need some help http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.


K Kruger
07-16-2005, 01:46 PM
Heat your oil at med-high heat till just shimmering then turn the heat down to medium. Whisk your flour in a little at a time (I use a flat whisk, if you don't have one a wooden spoon will do) till it's all incorporated. Keep the heat at medium and stir continuously making sure you reach into the corners of the pot. A deeply-colored roux usually takes me about 20-30 min, depending on the moisture content of the flour and where my heat level is precisely.

It is hard to tell color on a dark pot. If you feel like it might be getting away from you, reduce the heat. Return it to medium when you feel like you have a handle on it.

Also, use cheap bleached flour, not unbleached or high-end, high-protein stuff.

Skee Guidrawski
07-16-2005, 01:50 PM
Take a look see at Tony Chachere's website cajunone.com. You may want to give their gumbo mix a try. If you cannot purchase locally,I feel certain they would ship.

Kevin Taylor
07-16-2005, 06:35 PM
Making roux in a cast iron pot is challenging! They hold the heat so well that burning is always a risk. I always keep some chopped veggies(the "trinity") on hand to cool things down if the heat gets away from me. With cast iron I remove completely from the heat a good 10 minutes before I think it will be finished.

I have made enough roux that I use Prudhommes high heat method, but it was trial and error. I suggest doing what Kevin mentioned and get your oil hot first, then turn down the heat and add your flour. As he mentioned, it will take a good 20-30 minutes and you better be stirring constantly.

K Kruger
07-17-2005, 05:44 AM
I always keep some chopped veggies(the "trinity") on hand to cool things down if the heat gets away from me.
A good point. Make sure you have your vegs ready to go so that as soon as the roux is done you can add them.

Brent--Once you nail a roux you'll be able to repeat it; when you get used to how it feels you can cheat your heat up. A high temp roux is quicker so more convenient--keeping the flour/oil mix moving by stirring and not letting anything sit too long (especially in the corners) is the key. I can live on gumbo, and have!

Good to see you back, Stogie.

Tom Chilton
07-17-2005, 05:51 AM
Check out these recipes, good explanation of the roux in the gumbo one.
Gumbo Pages recipes (http://www.gumbopages.com/food/basics/index.html#dishes)

07-24-2005, 11:05 AM
Ok guys im giving her another try http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. For your viewing enjoyment here is pics of the roux i made:
Roux Pic 1 (http://brentw.no-ip.org/roux1.jpg)
Roux Pic 2 (http://brentw.no-ip.org/roux2.jpg)

This roux looks to be dark brown rather than the black roux that a lot of people make for this type of gumbo. I wanted to play on the safe side here since the distinction between dark black roux and burnt is very hard to tell. I tasted the roux and it still taste a little charged. Hopefully i will still like it. Im about to leave for the store to go get a chicken. I also have some homemade andouille sausage that i made. This will be a file gumbo. No okra. Hopefully it will taste good. Im still worried about the char taste when i tasted the roux. But if you look at the color of the included pics..there is no way it is burned. Anyways everyone, tell me what you think.


K Kruger
07-24-2005, 11:39 AM
Of course, it is hard to know if the rendering of your pic on my computer is accurate but no, the roux does not look burnt. (I'm assuming the darh area in the upper right of pic #2 is shadow, yes?)

A roux for gumbo is not black, though it is sometimes referred to as a 'black' roux. It is a very deep mahogany--deep chocolate--color. It should smell kind of smoky (in a way) and have a somewhat nutty aroma and flavor. I'm not quite sure if what you're calling charred is fine or if some grains of the flour burned--I'd have to be there--but usually you can see tiny flecks of black (i.e., burned) flour if that has happened (which is why it is crucial to keep stirring--especially in the corners where burning is most likely to occur). Burnt roux smells burnt, even if it was only burned slightly.

I'm hoping you hit it. Good luck and let us know.

07-24-2005, 03:41 PM
First of all i want to think all of you for your comments and help. I really appreciate it. I just added the roux mixture to the broth and i tasted it. No burned taste http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. It tasted awesome. I can't wait to eat some in about an hour. On another note. My roux mixture darkened significantly when it cooled down. I did take the roux off the burner when it was color i wanted and i stired it for about 7-8 minutes since it was still hot but it got a lot darker. The color when i took it off the stove was about the color of milk chocolate. The color when it was done cooling was the color of dark pure chocolate just the color you are suppose to obtain http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. Looks like im lucky i took it off early so i wouldn't burn it because it appears to be just right.

I think one of the best comments that helped me with this round was the comment telling me not to use a cast iron pot because it was hard to tell when the roux is done. If you look at the pics, i used an all-clad stainless pot. I think that was key for me. Everywhere i read about roux the recommend cast iron. I think they do because they are experts at making it so it really isn't a guessing game with them. For beginners like me its best to not uses anything dark like cast iron or anoized aluminum.

This is Paual Prodomes recipe. One thing that is strange is he doesn't use file or okra. I thought you had to use one or the other in gumbo. I guess not since he is one of the first experts on creole/cajun cooking.

another thing he has you do is fry the chicken with flour just like fried chicken. Next time i will probably skip this step and just brown the chicken without oil.

Kevin: yes that was a shadow. I just got a new digital camera. Its a very expensive pro consumer camera (8MP) and its there are so many controls its going to take awhile to get used to. The new pics i took are much clearer. I was trying to use macro mode before and i wasn't really close enough to use it and i was shaking a little trying to hold the camera still. Thats why the are kind of blurry. Here are pics of after the roux cooled and they are a lot clearer:
Roux After Cool 1 (http://brentw.no-ip.org/rouxaftercool1.jpg)
Roux after cool 2 (http://brentw.no-ip.org/rouxaftercool2.jpg)

Well guys i will post a pic of a bowl after its done. Tell me what you guys think http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

Bruce Bissonnette
07-24-2005, 03:42 PM
Here is a photo of a dish using a dark roux. Your roux does not appear burnt, and if your pics are a true color then it can get darker without burning.


Bruce Bissonnette
07-24-2005, 03:44 PM
Brent, good looking roux in that second set of photos.

I was typing my reply above as you were posting yours.

07-24-2005, 05:27 PM
OK guys the gumbo was AWESOME. It didn't taste burned at all and had a great smokey flavor. I did put file in at the end eventhough the recipe didn't call for it. To have another test dummy for my gumbo i went over my brother's house. He tried it and loved it. He told me i had to teach him how to make it. The only place in this area that you could get gumbo was a place called gumbo ya ya's which was one of springfields fanciest resteraunts on top of the hilton about 2 years ago. It has since closed. My brother said he had tried the gumbo there and wasn't that impressed. He told me mine was a lot better. I can say this it would have been a lot better if it would have been colder outside. I was driving home from my bros at 9:15pm and it was still 90. I think it got to like 103 today here. I think this would be a perfect stew for those cold winter nights. Again, thanks for all your help. For your viewing pleasure:
Gumbo In Bowl (http://brentw.no-ip.org/gumboinbowl.jpg)
Gumbo in the Pot (http://brentw.no-ip.org/gumboinpot.jpg)


K Kruger
07-25-2005, 04:46 AM
Looks great, Brent. I'm so glad you nailed the roux. You should have no trouble repeating it now. You learned yourself that you can pull it several minutes early and, still stirring, let it darken further with the residual heat from the pot. [What I usually do is take it off heat, let it darken a bit, return it to the heat and, just as it hits the right color, add my diced onion, red bell, celery, and thyme. These I soften at med-low, then add the garlic. Reducing the heat and adding the vegs arrests the roux darkening. I add the warm stock to the roux-veg mix.]

Me, I like gumbo year round but especially in the summer. Make me sweat! (I was in Vegas on Thurs--113 degrees on the patio--eating grilled turkey breast with chipotle salsa and jalapeño-lime rice.) I probably do shrimp and andouille most often (making the stock from the shrimp shells), but chicken/sausage runs a close second. When I've lots of duck legs I do duck/sausage. For me, filé is a must.

Again, your gumbo looks delicious. Have fun on your next 'project'.

K Kruger
07-25-2005, 05:12 AM

For chicken or duck gumbos I brown the meat well in a little oil in the pot I'm making the stock in (even if I'm using already-made stock), in batches if necessary. When browned I remove it to a plate to cool and deglaze the pot. After mixing the stock into the roux I add the chicken or duck pieces, bring to a simmer, and continue from there. I don't flour the meat for browning.

Keri C
07-25-2005, 07:12 AM
I love to make gumbos, etouffees, jamabalayas, and such - we did a turkey-fryer pot full of a chicken-sausage gumbo at a comp back at the end of June and fed anyone who was interested. Granted, we were using Minute Rice which I wouldn't do at home, but it was still fun to have both volunteers and competitors hearing about the gumbo pot 2nd and 3rd hand and wandering down to see if they could partake. A pot that size benefits from advance preparation, though. I made my roux a couple of weeks before the comp, up to the point of dark milk chocolate and dumping round one of the veggies in, then I froze it. I had already made 3 gallons of a good rich stock and stuck it in the freezer, and I ran several batches of chicken through the WSM (instead of frying it) and chunked it up in the freezer as well. Some leftover pulled pork and smoked turkey found its way into the pot too - excellent time to clean out the freezer. The peppers, onions, and celery are easily chopped ahead and frozen in ziplocs as well, so the only pre-prep kind of thing we actually do onsite is slicing the sausage and browning it to pull some of the grease out of it.

That's some fine-lookin' gumbo, Brent. Which Prudhomme recipe did you use, just out of curiosity? When I do the big pots, I tend to revert to something like Chuck Taggert's chicken and sausage version (http://www.gumbopages.com/food/soups/chixsaus-gumbo.html) multiplied about four or five times over (but cutting back on the chicken stock some as we like it thicker and just a few other tweaks). I've had great luck with all the recipes that I've found there.

For a really fun book, now that you have the bug, look for Marcelle Bienvenu's "Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux?" Also the older John and Glenna Uhler books if you can find them.

Now you done gone and flung an ohnvee on me fo' some gumbo, tru' dat! Why you gon' done dat fo', mon cher? http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Keri C

Jim Burmeister
07-26-2005, 04:38 AM
Lived in New Oleans LA for many years.
Two of my boys married cajun girls.

We tried all the brands and Savoie's is by far the best.

They all used Savoie's Roux in a jar.
The gumbo will blow you away ... best ever.
Wally World in Destin FL has it. Or heres alink.


Keri C
07-26-2005, 05:45 AM
I've wondered about roux-in-a-jar before, but had never had the courage to try it. Based on your recommendation, I just might give it a shot sometime. Thank you, Jim!

Keri C, smokin' on Tulsa Time

07-27-2005, 04:11 PM
Thanks Keri & Kevin for your comments. Keri the recipe was from Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. The recipe is just called "Chicken and Andouille Smoked Sausage Gumbo". I might have to give that book you recommended a look. Im just so happy i was able to make a good pot of gumbo. Since ive never tried it before now i know what i have been missing.


08-15-2005, 08:40 AM
Been awhile since I visited the forum. Agree with all the previous posters. Couple additions: you can make a fat-free roux by putting the flour in a skillet in the oven about 400 degrees and stirring it occasionally. Be aware that the flour by itself will not turn as brown as it does with the oil, so you need to take it out a little sooner than you might think. Also, it sucks up a bunch of your liquid when you add the stock, so have plenty. I usually add the liquid to a paste consistency then add to the main pot. Downside of this is you don't cook your veggies in the roux and get the caramelization effect, but it's a lot less fattening.
Also, use your left over smoked turkey at T'giving to make a smoked turkey gumbo (boiling the carcass and using the stock) and you will love it.

Tom O
08-19-2005, 10:05 AM
Does anybody make roux in a microwave? You don't save time, but you might avoid burning. I saw the recipe, but have not tried it...tom

Jane Cherry
08-20-2005, 06:44 PM
And I think I'll have to make this with the Andouille Kevin brought me from LA. The pot I use for roux is a Le Creuset Dutch oven. It's the only one I have that's worth a s***. And yes, cast iron holds the heat so well, you almost always have to turn it down. Take into consideration that when you are making this in a restaurant, the pot size is probably larger than anyone of us own, hence the higher heat. Better to take a little longer than scorch.