Angelina's Poor Man's Gumbo with Filé

Be sure to pick up some of Bonnecaze Farm's pure ground filé from our Tuesday market when making this delicious Creole chicken gumbo recipe!


  • 1 large (5-pound) chicken or hen, cut into pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • Creole seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 1 tablespoon Crisco
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, chopped
  • 2 quarts stock or water
  • 3 dozen oysters and their liquor
  • 3 pounds smoked sausage, sliced (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons filé powder (see Note)


Season chicken well with salt, pepper, a little Creole seasoning, and, if you want, a little cayenne pepper. Fry slowly in butter or Crisco until chicken is a deep golden brown. Remove chicken from pan and pour off drippings, leaving about 2 tablespoons drippings in the pan. Add flour and stir and cook until a brown roux is made. After the roux cooks a while, add onion,  parsley, thyme, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add stock or water along with oyster liquor (reserve oysters to add later). At this time, add chicken, sausage, bay leaf, and additional cayenne pepper if desired. Simmer for 1 hour.

When ready to serve, add fresh oysters to gumbo and cook 3 minutes longer. Remove from stove and add your filé.

Note: Filé (fee-lay) is a powder made from dried sassafras leaves that is used as a flavoring and a thickening agent in some gumbos.

Serves 10-12

Recipe compliments of Carolyn Shelton, Anglina's Zydeco Gumbo

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