It is very rare that I ever ask others for recipes. I cook so much that I am always finding sources online and in books that I use for inspiration. So my mind is already flowing with ideas.
This Authentic Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo is an exception to that norm.
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One of my former coworkers used to live in Louisiana for several years. He is also into cooking and has some regional dishes from his adventures.
We worked with each other for two years and would both often make dishes for various pot lucks and parties at work.
But it was not until THIS gumbo recipe that I was determined to get a recipe from him.
Gumbo was something that was always slighting intimidating because it uses ingredients that I am not extremely familiar with (ever heard of gumbo file?…yeah, me neither).
And there are so many ways to make it, I did not know where to start.
The first time I made this on my own, I forgot he told me he had toned down the spice so it just about burned my face off.
But I loved it so I ate it anyway!
The recipe below is for the mild-spice version and I have added notes for adjustments of seasoning if you want to make it spicy.
Some people say that there should not be any tomatoes in a gumbo, so if you do not want any tomatoes, go ahead and skip!
Making the roux (flour and oil mixture) is probably the trickiest part of this easy recipe.
What makes it a little tricky is you want it to get super dark, like chocolate brown dark, without burning the flour.
I have found that sometimes it takes the roux extra long to get it to where I want it, so always start it first.
And then either be prepared to wait before adding it, or adding it when it is not quite as dark as you want it.
When I make gumbo with a lighter-than-ideal roux, it still tastes great, just not as deep of a flavor as when I can get it dark brown.
Using Different Meats
Easily switch up the meats with things like shrimp or other sausages. Just adjust the cooking time! (Shrimp only need to be added the last few minutes to cook).
You could also use leftover chicken if desired, just adding it at the end.
Or adjust the ratios of different meats with more or less of what you love!
This Authentic Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo has become a staple in the house. It is especially popular in the colder months and during football season.
It is in regular rotation with my famous Hatch Green Chile!
My favorite way to eat this homemade gumbo is on a bed of white rice, but French bread is great as well!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 bell pepper, finely diced (any color)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced (approx 1 cup)
- 5 stalks celery finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 can stewed or diced tomatoes (28 oz)
- 3 split chicken breasts (bone in)
- 2 smoked sausages
- 8 ounces frozen okra
- 2 cartons chicken stock (32 oz each)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 Tablespoon gumbo file (see note)
- Make the roux: Combine the 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes. You want to turn it off when the mixture gets to the color of milk chocolate as it will continue to cook and darken. Ultimately you want it to be a dark chocolate brown color, but be careful that it does not burn and start turning black. (It helps to remove the roux from the pot and pour it into a bowl to get it away from the hot pot and help stop the cooking process). Keep an eye on the roux and if it is starting to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium low.
- Add 2 Tbsp of vegetable or olive oil to a large pot. Heat over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the oil in the pot and brown on both sides, approximately 5-7 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
- To the same pot, add the bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cook vegetables for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken, still whole, back to the pot as well as the chicken stock. Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and add the roux, bay leaves, tomatoes, and seasonings (including the file). (Be careful when adding the roux as it may bubble or splatter if it is still hot).
- Pull the chicken off of the bones and shred. Discard the bones and add the chicken back to the pot.
- Slice the sausage into coins and add to the pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1.5-2 hours.
- In the last half hour, add the frozen okra.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve with rice and/or french bread.
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce