Gumbo Ya Ya with Crabmeat

This Sunday, Eduardo and I celebrated SOUPer Bowl VII.  Since we’ve been together, we’ve always watched the  Super Bowl in the couch, with a bowl of soup and a platter of wings in front of us.  I made a recap of the soups we’ve enjoyed through the years in last year’s SOUPer Bowl entry, New England Clam Chowder (oh, the irony).  Still bitter over the outcome of the playoffs for my beloved Saints, I decided to bring New Orleans to the Super Bowl through food.  Enter the Gumbo Ya Ya!

Gumbo Ya Ya is the famed chicken and sausage version served at Mr. B’s Bistro, a contemporary Creole restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter.  It also happens to be Tom Fitzmorris’ favorite restaurant gumbo.  Tom Fitzmorris is New Orleans consummate food person: he’s a recognized critic, writer, recipe developer, and radio host show and probably the biggest advocate for the restaurant industry in New Orleans.  He took the recipe for Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya Ya – available in the restaurant’s website – and scaled it down for the home cook in  If you ever want to read a New Orleans restaurant review or try to recreate a dish associated with the city, this would be the site to visit.

I scaled back this even further from the Fitzmorris version to yield four generous main course servings or six appetizers.  I stayed 90% true to the recipe:  I added half a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce  in the final seasoning round and about a cup of lump crabmeat.  Adding seafood might totally invalidate the Ya Ya surname, but since it is my base recipe I’d rather attribute than atone.

Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya Ya (with crabmeat)
Inspired by Mr. B’s Bistro
Adapted from Tom Fitzmorris –
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

The Main Cast

  • 3/4 pounds andouille or smoked sausage (we used chicken andouille)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Creole/cajun seasoning and salt
Slice the sausages into half moon coins.  Cook on a saucepan over medium heat until browned, careful not to scorch the fat rendered.  Season the chicken thighs with creole seasoning and salt (if the seasoning does not have any).  Cook the chicken in the sausage fat until browned/no pink spots.
The Base: Roux and Trinity
  • 5 ounces canola oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (two regular sized cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock
Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottomed stockpot or cast-iron Dutch Oven.  Add the flour and stir constantly for 15-20 minutes, until the roux turns the color of milk chocolate.  Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook until soft, about five minutes.  Add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme and stir until fragrant.  Add the chicken stock, whisking into the corners of the Dutch oven to dislodge any flour.  Bring up to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes.
Add chicken and sausage and simmer for about twenty minutes.  Skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo.  There will be a lot of it.  I ended up skimming close over half a cup of grease.
Trinity for Mr. B's Gumbo Ya Ya
The Lagniappe
  • 1 cup lump crabmeat, shells picked out
Add the crabmeat to the gumbo.  Allow the gumbo to simmer for about five minutes to heat the crab through.  Stir carefully to avoid breaking up the crab lumps.


Final Touch
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons file powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice
Season the gumbo with hot sauce, file powder, and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow to simmer for five additional minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serve with scoops of white rice, and garnish with the green onions.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

16 Responses to “Gumbo Ya Ya with Crabmeat”

  1. February 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Looks delicious! It’s cold and rainy here now, I wish I could have a bowl of this 🙂

  2. February 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    que bueno y rico que se ve eso!! … aay ya ne dio hambre 🙂

  3. February 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    This looks wonderful 🙂
    A perfect way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon/ evening.

    • February 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      It was! As it usually happens on Sundays, things simmer for a little too long between picture time and dinnertime, and most of the crab lumps melted into the soup. I spooned some extra crab when I reheated it for dinner yesterday.

  4. February 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    This looks amazing 🙂
    In Germany, we have a very different carnival celebration, but not quite as tasty!

  5. February 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    It looks yummy, I’m definitely trying this out. After all is raining every day in Puerto Rico, so rain calls for soup. Is they only way I eat soup.

  6. February 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Oh this sounds and looks amazing! Perfect the overcast weather we are having together.

  7. February 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    YUM! I love gumbo & I love crab, but I’ve never tried the two together. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  8. February 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Ooh, the crabmeat puts this gumbo on another level. Great idea!

  9. February 9, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I copied that recipe years ago. but have never made it. The addition of crab meat sounds amazing!

    • February 9, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      I loved adding the crab because it is sweet-ish and balances some of the spiciness/saltiness of the sausage.

  10. February 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I can only see chicken browning (FLICKR is currently goofy), but it sounds delicious – love the crab.

    Between this, and my friend Neela asking for NOLA brunch tips, I am super hungry for Mr. B’s!

    • February 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

      Flickr is definitely acting up. I can see three out of the four pictures included in the post. It’s getting fixed as soon as I get home.

      Yeah, Mr. B’s… I’m making tons of jambalaya this weekend for a friends’ gathering. Wishing I could send some over for you. I will not apologize for the tomatoes, though.

  11. March 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Fabulous gumbo recipe! This is one of those hot dishes that I can eat year round even in the heat of summer! Your pictures are making me hungry!

  12. March 13, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Esta es una buena comida para compartir en familia!!! Además debe quedar bien con la cebada para mi mami que no puede comer arroz. Me encantaría compartirla en mi blog


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