Leah Chase's

Gumbo Z’Herbes

Total Cooking Time 110
Yield 8-10
1 ratings

For the Madisonville-born Creole chef Leah (Lange) Chase, who operates the restaurant Dooky Chase, preparing gumbo z’herbes is a Lenten ritual, as automatic as fish on Fridays and as reverential as Easter Sunday Mass.


  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch beet tops
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1/2 head of lettuce
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound smoked ham
  • 1 pound brisket, cubed
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 1 pound chaurice hot sausage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon filé powder
  • Steamed rice for serving


  1. Clean greens under cold running water, making sure to pick out bad leaves and rinse away any grit. Chop greens coarsely and place in a 12-quart stockpot with the onions and garlic. Cover with water (about 1-1/2 gallons) and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer; cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain greens and reserve liquid.
  3. Cut all meats, except the chaurice, into bite-size pieces (about 1 inch pieces) and place in 12-quart stockpot with 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Steam over a high heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the chaurice into bite-size pieces and place in a skillet over high heat to render, about 10 minutes. Remove chaurice and set aside, keeping the grease in the skillet.
  5. Blend greens in a food processor until pureed.
  6. Heat the skillet of chaurice grease over high heat and add flour. Cook roux until flour is cooked, about 5 minutes (does not have to be brown). Pour roux over meat mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Add puréed greens to the meat in the stockpot and 2 quarts of the reserved liquid. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add chaurice, thyme and cayenne; stir well. Season and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir in filé powder and remove from heat.
  8. Serve over steamed rice.