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Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo – Perfect Fusion Food

Gumbo has been a Louisiana favorite for over a century. In my opinion, it’s the perfect fusion food. Gumbo is a perfect mix of French, West African, and American Indian Cuisine. Each culture in Louisiana made their contributions to this dish. 

Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo

Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo is thick, full of flavor, and addictive!

Two Categories of Gumbo

Gumbos have mostly been divided into two categories, those thickened with film and those thickened with okra. It is believed that okra is used in the summer when it is fresh and file during the winter months. I don’t buy that reasoning. If you’ve ever been in a room with Gumbo connoisseurs, a mighty big fight will usually break out over which is the “real” version of gumbo.

Although I use okra at times in gumbo, I particularly love the way filè tastes. It has a distinctive earthy flavor and adds color to the gumbo. Oftentimes folks will just thicken with a roux, but I do both for flavor and texture. 

With gumbo’s popularity spreading to all of America, more variations of the dish are becoming popular. Most versions contain chicken, shrimp, and sausage, but sometimes we use duck, turkey, and pheasant. They tend to make their way into most hunter’s households. Again, gumbo is the perfect fusion food.

 In my opinion, it’s the perfect fusion food. Gumbo is a perfect mix of French, West African, and American Indian Cuisine. Each culture in Louisiana made their contributions to this dish.

In my opinion, it’s the perfect fusion food. Gumbo is a perfect mix of French, West African, and American Indian Cuisine. Each culture in Louisiana made their contributions to this dish.

That’s where the black-eyed peas in this recipes come in. In Alabama, peas are quite proficient and plentiful. Black-eyed peas just seem to naturally come up in our dirt. They’re easy to harvest, shell, freeze, and dry which make them a staple on a Southerner’s table. Once you try gumbo with the black-eyed peas, you’ll always think something’s missing when they aren’t there. 

Don’t forget to check out our hand-hewn gumbo paddle!! They age with the most beautiful patina and can be passed down through the generations along with the stories gathered with use.

Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds Andouille sausage cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 pounds chicken breasts cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large onions about 8 cups, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers about 2 cups, chopped
  • 10 stalks celery about 4 cups, chopped
  • 14 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 pounds dried black-eyed
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 4 pounds of shrimp peeled, deveined, and shell removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives plus more for garnish sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup parsley plus more for garnish chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons file powder
  • White Rice recipe below
  • Hot Sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage to paper towels and allow to drain. Brown the chicken in batches, removing to a paper towel to drain.
  2. Add the rest of the oil to the pot over medium-high heat . When the oil is smoking add the flour and stir constantly until mixture is dark brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery and cook until the onions are translucent. Stir often for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, oregano, sausage, chicken, and black-eyed peas then stir for 2 more minutes.
  3. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
  4. Add the shrimp, green onions, parsley, and file powder and stir until well combined. Serve over rice and garnish with the extra chopped chives and parsley. Season with Hot Sauce.

Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine  all the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the simmer and cover for about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from eh heat and allow the pan to remain covered for about 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

4 responses to “Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo – Perfect Fusion Food”

  1. Trebecca says:

    Great recipe! However, neither okra or file is included in the recipe, although the post above the recipe talks specifically about it…? Black-eyed peas in the gumbo recipe are referred to as simply ‘black-eyed’?

    • stacy says:

      It’s kind of small, but at the bottom. I use 2 1/2 Tablespoons of filè powder. If you want to use okra, I would use about 1 pound for this recipe. Slice it to 1/4 inch after removing the tip and cap. I hope you give this a try! I’m making it tomorrow.

  2. Rai says:

    Can basmati rice be used as the long grained rice?

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