For Chicago-born chef Adrienne Cheatham's family, gumbo was a holiday fixture—they'd make several batches between Thanksgiving and Christmas, stashing them in a snow bank (a.k.a. nature's refrigerator) between meals.
In fact, when Cheatham met her New Orleans–born husband, Stephen, she bragged about her mom's Acadian-style gumbo, which is rich with seafood, chicken, and sausage (but omits the okra common to the Creole version). Cheatham, who lives in Harlem, N.Y., will share a similar dish in her next cookbook, SundayBest (out in March), honoring the breadth and beauty of Southern and soul food.
This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.
Filé powder (made from pulverized sassafras leaves) is integral to this recipe. It's readily available online.