The 2nd Annual Gumbo Smackdown

In honor of the 2nd annual Kendall-Jackson Gumbo Smackdown, we asked Chef Justin to share one of his recipes with us. Of course he was nice enough to share one of his favorite gumbo recipes with everyone.

As he points out in his recipe, the trick to making a good gumbo is to cook it low and slow; and keep in mind that the flavor will improve with time.

You might be wondering about the photo at the top of this post too. That’s the Kendall-Jackson Gumbo Smackdown trophy. This is its second year of existence and the competition continues to get tougher and tougher. Fortunately, if you live near Sonoma County then you can join us this Saturday February 19th at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center and sample the gumbo. If you want to get a better idea of what to expect at the Gumbo Smackdown, check our our Flickr set from last year’s event.

Recipe by Justin Wangler
Serve with 2007 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Malbec.
The recipe serves eight.

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups onion, diced ½ -inch
  • 1 cup celery, diced ½ -inch
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, diced ½ -inch
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, diced ½ -inch
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, diced ½ -inch
  • 1 can (12 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 quarts clam juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. filé powder
  • 2 cups okra, sliced
  • 2 lbs. shrimp
  • Kosher salt


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add the flour and continue to stir until the roux turns very dark brown (this may take up to 30 minutes).
  2. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage and chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, clam juice and the remaining spices, except for the filé powder.
  5. Cook until thick or at least 1 hour. Add the filé powder, okra and shrimp. Cook for 10 minutes and salt to taste.

The gumbo will get better the longer it is cooked. Be sure to stir and cook slowly over very low heat. Enjoy the gumbo over white rice.