Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo
Throughout my book, I’ve had a great deal to say about making the roux that’s the base of our gumbo — and the other steps as well — but I’ll recap it here so that it can be useful every time you start to make our signature dish. I love rendered duck fat, chicken fat, or lard, but canola oil works nearly as well.
I always heat the oil first and whisk the flour into the hot oil. Not only does this speed up the process; it yields that deep, dark chocolate-colored gumbo I love. I always add the onions first to the dark roux, holding back the rest of the vegetables until the onion caramelizes. Otherwise, the water in the vegetables will keep the onion from browning and releasing its sweet juices.
I like to add filé powder to the gumbo, and then pass it at the table, too. Serve the gumbo hot with Louisiana rice; serve potato salad on the side, if you like.
Adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh.
Click here to see A Big Easy Dinner Menu.
For the Creole spices:
- 2 tablespoons celery salt
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
For the gumbo:
- 1 cup rendered chicken fat or canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1 large chicken, cut into 12 pieces
- 2 tablespoons Creole spices (above)
- 2 pounds spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off
- 3 quarts John Besh's Chicken Stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 ounces Andouille sausage, chopped
- 2 cups sliced fresh okra
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Filé powder
- 4–6 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice
For the Creole spices:
Mix together the celery salt, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and allspice in a bowl. Transfer the spices to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and store.
For the gumbo:
Make a roux by heating the chicken fat or oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
Season the chicken with Creole spices. Add the chicken to the pot, raise heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the smoked sausage and stir for a minute before adding the celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
Add the Andouille, okra, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé at the table.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ½ pound andouille sausage, sliced
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups sliced okra
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Add 1 tablespoon oil, chicken, and sausage to the pot and cook for 6 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add 1/2 cup oil and flour to the pot. Whisk until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 10 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring continually to prevent burning, for 5 minutes. Turn pot off.
Add broth, tomatoes, okra, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, Creole seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir in cooked chicken and sausage. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions and set timer for 4 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.
Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 pound andouille or smoked sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Creole seasoning to taste
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 rotisserie chicken, boned and shredded
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, whisk in flour. Continue whisking until the roux has cooked to the color of chocolate milk, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the roux. If you see black specks in the mixture, start over.
Stir onion, bell pepper, celery, and sausage into the roux cook 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning blend thoroughly. Pour in the chicken broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chicken, and simmer 1 hour more. Skim off any foam that floats to the top during the last hour.
How to Make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Next, we are going to add the Cajun Holy Trinity – one cup of chopped white onions, ½ cup chopped green bell pepper and ½ cup diced celery. In addition, we are going to add one tablespoon of Italian seasoning, one tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried) and one pound of andouille or smoked sausage.
Andouille sausage is very similar in flavor to smoked sausage. It is a little more heavily seasoned and smoked longer than regular smoked sausage. If you have easy access to andouille sausage, go ahead and use it. If not, use smoked sausage. It will not greatly affect the flavor of the dish.
Next, add one pound of cooked, shredded chicken. I prefer chicken thighs because they have more flavor and shred pretty easily. One tip, the gumbo calls for four cups of chicken broth. If you have the time, boil your chicken thighs, skins removed, in 5 cups of water for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through. Remove the thighs to allow them to cool enough where you can shred them. Voila! Now you have cooked chicken and broth for the gumbo.
Once you’ve added the chicken and the broth, bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Afterwards, add 2 cups of sliced fresh or frozen okra, two tablespoons of Creole seasoning, one tablespoon of sugar, ¼ cup of picante sauce, and two bay leaves. Return the gumbo to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for one additional hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
While your gumbo is cooking, go ahead and cook four cups of white rice. To serve, spoon a generous helping of rice in a bowl and ladle the gumbo over the top. People down here like to sprinkle the top of their gumbo with filé powder, which is ground sassafras leaves. My husband likes to add a dash or two of hot sauce.
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- 1/2 cup canola oil (or extra light olive oil)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup onions (white, chopped)
- 1/2 cup green bell peppers (chopped)
- 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 8 ounces sausage (smoked, cut into crosswise slices)
- 2 chicken breast halves (cubed)
- 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups rice
- 1 cup okra (cut into crosswise slices)
- 1/3 cup parsley (fresh, loosely packed, chopped)
- Optional: hot sauce, as desired
Combine the oil and flour together in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 12-15 minutes, until it turns the color of rich milk chocolate.
Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to the roux and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to turn tender.
Add the smoked sausage and raw chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Stir the stock, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves into the gumbo bring it to a gentle simmer and cook it, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside to keep warm.
Add the okra to the gumbo and continue simmering it for 15-20 minutes, until the okra is tender.
Remove the gumbo from the heat.
To serve the gumbo place a scoop of warm rice in the center of a large soup bowl and add a ladleful of hot gumbo. Sprinkle it with a bit of fresh parsley and add hot sauce, as desired.
Smoked Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
This authentic Louisiana Smoked Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is made with chicken, sausage, and smoked turkey all cooked in a delicious dark roux.
Served with a side of hot cooked rice and potato salad if desired.
Yes, I know it’s HOT outside, 110 degrees to be exact, but in my house it’s 65 degrees thanks to my nice cool air conditioner.
It’s the perfect weather for Smoked Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.
If you were wondering why would anyone make Gumbo in this weather?
Because it’s the last hot soup of the season for me and my family.
I want make gumbo again until Thanksgiving so we have to cherish the memories while they last.
Don’t get me wrong, everyday is Gumbo eating day, just not in my house, because in the summertime I am a grilling mama.
I love to cook outdoors and if you haven’t noticed by most of my recent post, I’ve already fired up the grill.
I decided to omit seafood from this gumbo, unlike my last Smokey Creole Gumbo.
As I stated previously, Baby Girl’s allergic to seafood so I wanted to make sure she had a nice big bowl of gumbo without the seafood.
Another change up to this gumbo is the size.
People, I am Creole and we don’t make anything small, especially gumbo.
I took great detail into tailoring this recipe for about 4-6 people.
This is my first time ever making gumbo for 4-6 people, it’s just something that would never happen in my family.
For those of you who just need a small batch, this recipes for you.
If you like seafood, in the last 15 minutes of cooking, add a pound of peeled, deveined shrimp.
Don’t forget to make a side of my delicious Potato Salad to serve with your gumbo.
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 7 ounces (1/2 package) or 1 link Zatarain’s® Andouille Smoked Sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices Substitutions available
Put chicken pieces in a bowl. Mix chicken with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and celery salt. Set aside.
In a heavy-duty Dutch oven over medium heat, add the canola oil and flour and stir constantly until the roux turns a deep brown color, like milk chocolate. It is very important you stir constantly, or the roux will burn. The whole process should take about 20-30 minutes, so be patient and get a good color to your roux in order to achieve an authentic Cajun gumbo.
Add the seasoned chicken to the hot roux and stir for 3 more minutes.
Add the chopped onion, celery and green pepper to the roux and stir to blend well.
Add the chicken broth, diced sausage and bay leaves bring all to a simmer. Once the liquid is simmering, reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove gumbo from the heat and ladle into serving bowls.
Top each bowl with a large spoonful of white rice or potato salad and sprinkle a 1/4 teaspoon of file over the top, as well as a pinch of chopped scallions.
Before time for serving, I like to remove the chicken, debone it, break it into bite-size pieces, and return it to the pot. Then to serve, ladle the gumbo into a bowl over cooked white rice. I usually sprinkle a few chopped green onions over the top when serving. Bon appétit!
A good gumbo dinner is never complete without potato salad (simple cajun style, not the kind with all the crunchy stuff) and a loaf of french bread. Here’s my wife’s recipe for making Cajun potato salad, which she learned from my mother.
Tonnere mes chiens c’est bon! (That’s French from my Mom’s side. She was an Ardoin from Ville Platte.)