If you love Louisiana cuisine, you can bring the flavor of New Orleans right into your own kitchen with this delicious andouille sausage and chicken gumbo recipe. With shredded chicken, tender okra, smoky sausage, and aromatic veggies, this chicken and sausage gumbo recipe will earn you rave reviews from your friends and family. When you eat at authentic New Orleans food restaurants, you can always count on finding savory chicken and sausage gumbo or a seafood gumbo recipe on the menus.
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This chicken and sausage gumbo recipe is an excellent way to learn some kitchen techniques that you carry over to other chicken recipes. You’ll learn how to make a traditional roux and homemade chicken broth. With this chicken gumbo recipe, you have a main dish for sharing, and don’t worry: You’ll have plenty of leftovers.
What Is Gumbo?
Is gumbo a stew or a soup? Actually, shrimp gumbo is something that’s in between the two. Gumbo originated in Louisiana, it’s a staple in Cajun cuisine and Creole cuisine. This recipe was influenced by a combination of European and west African flavors and cooking techniques.
What makes gumbo authentic is the holy trinity. The holy trinity is made with green bell pepper (or red bell pepper), onion (green onion is OK), and celery. Other essential ingredients are your choice of meat or seafood and spicy cayenne pepper. Gumbo needs a roux and filé powder, and the roux recipe can vary based on the regional style you’re cooking.
How to Cook the Chicken for Homemade Gumbo
First, you need to cook your chicken and reserve the chicken broth. You can use skinless chicken thighs to make Creole gumbo or boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can also use a mixture of chicken breast and chicken thigh. For a more robust stick, you can use bone-in chicken. To account for the bones, use 2 1/3 pounds of chicken.
If you need a shortcut, you can use chicken that has already been cooked. This can be your leftover roasted chicken, chicken you’ve shredded and frozen in advance, or shredded rotisserie chicken. If you don’t cook your own chicken, you’ll need to have store-bought chicken stock or chicken broth to make your gumbo.
How to Cook the Okra for Gumbo
Fresh okra is best for making homemade gumbo, but you can easily use frozen okra. When you slice the okra, you’ll see little seeds. When the okra is cooked, it creates mucilage, a clear edible goop.
While okra can seem slimy after you boil it, this won’t be noticeable when you cook it with the other ingredients. You can drain it after you cook it to remove some of the stickiness.
Use a Gumbo Roux to Thicken the Gumbo
Roux is the secret to gumbo, and it’s made with equal parts flour and butter. Cook your roux over medium heat for about 15 minutes, and you’ll have the perfect roux. Stir constantly to make sure you get it perfect.
The Vegetable Holy Trinity
In many Cajun dishes and Creole recipes, you use a veggie mixture called the holy trinity. This is made with celery, red or green bell pepper, and onion. The amount you use will depend on the recipe you use.
You can also add minced garlic to give your New Orleans gumbo a delicious earthy flavor. Sauté all the veggies until they’re tender.
Bold Spices and Seasoning
Cajun recipes and Creole cuisine are known for their spices. For this easy gumbo recipe, we use dried basil, thyme, and bay leaf because of the concentrated flavor.
Choose Your Smoked Sausage
You can use any type of smoky sausage for your Cajun gumbo, and andouille sausage is best. This sausage has Cajun seasonings mixed into it.
Simmering the Gumbo
To simmer your gumbo, it takes about 45 minutes. When you cook it for this amount of time, you get all of the perfect flavors. The shredded chicken is added during the last 15 minutes of cook time.
Adding the Filé Powder to the Gumbo
You can use gumbo filé powder or omit it. However, it makes the gumbo extra special! Gumbo filé powder adds a eucalyptus aroma that has an earthy flavor.
The Difference Between Jambalaya and Gumbo
Jambalaya has Spanish roots, and it’s a rice-based recipe. Jambalaya is simmered with delicious meats, veggies, and seafood, while gumbo is a soup or stew.
Regional Variations and Styles
Various regions of Louisiana have different gumbo recipes. In the southeastern part of the state, you will find seafood gumbo recipes with tomatoes. In the southwestern part of Louisiana, gumbo is more often made with andouille sausage or chicken.
Is there an okra substitute?
Besides adding a unique taste, okra helps the gumbo become thicker. However, you can certainly omit the okra if you don’t like it. Gumbo filé will thicken your gumbo, and you can add about 1 tablespoon to the pot.
What is filé powder?
Most gumbo recipes call for filé powder, and it’s made from dried and ground sassafras leaves. Besides adding flavor, filé helps to thicken the gumbo.
Can you make homemade gumbo in the slow cooker or Instant Pot?
Absolutely! You’ll still have to cook your roux on the stovetop before transferring it to the slow cooker. We also recommend that you sauté the veggies in the roux before adding them to the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Does Gumbo have tomatoes?
Various Louisiana regions call for tomatoes in gumbo recipes. While a tomato adds acidity and sweetness, you can make this gumbo without the tomatoes.
When you cook your roux, the color is very important. Roux can be either blond, white, dark brown, or brown. It takes about 15 minutes to cook the roux until the flavor and color are like you want.
Best Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo
- To prepare this chicken and sausage gumbo, you need this equipment:
- Strainer or Colander
- 2-3 quart Saucepan
- Dutch Oven
- Instant-Read Kitchen Thermometer
- 2 lb. skinless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 quarts of room temperature water for cooking the chicken
- 1 lb. frozen or fresh okra cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups diced green pepper or red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 12 oz. andouille sausage slices
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. gumbo filé powder
- Cook the Chicken Breast: Add 2 quarts of water and the chicken breast or chicken thigh to a large pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer for between 20 and 25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Using a kitchen thermometer, make sure the chicken pieces is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Strain the chicken broth from the pot and set it aside.
- Shred the Chicken: Allow the chicken to cook, then put it on a plate or in a bowl and shred it until the pieces are small. Cover the shredded chicken and set it aside.
- Cook Your Okra: In the same pot (or a different one), add 1/2 cup of the water and the okra slices. Bring the okra to a boil, then allow it to simmer for between 7 and 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the okra is done, drain it in a colander and set it aside.
- Prepare the Roux: Use a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the all-purpose flour to the pot. Stir frequently with a whisk as the flour browns. It will take about 15 minutes for the roux to become dark brown in color. If you need to, you can increase the heat to help the roux brown during the last 5 minutes, but don't allow the roux to burn.
- Cook the Vegetables: Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and celery to the pot with the roux. Saute the veggies for between 8 and 10 minutes or until they're nice and tender.
- Cook the Andouille Sausage: In a heavy skillet, cook the andouille sausage until it's browned. Add the tomatoes, cooked okra, and sausage slices to the gumbo pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
- Add the Spices: Next, add the thyme, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, basil, freshly ground black pepper, and salt to the pot.
- Simmer the Gumbo: Stir in about 4 cups of the broth from when you were cooking the chicken. Cover the pot loosely, turn the burner to medium or low heat, and allow the gumbo to simmer for about 30 minutes until the gumbo is thick. Don't cook on high heat or you risk burning your gumbo.
- Add the Chicken: Add the shredded chicken to the pot and simmer the gumbo for 15 additional minutes.
- Add the Filé: Turn the burner off and stir the gumbo filé in slowly. Don't allow the gumbo to oil again after you add the filé because this can make your homemade gumbo stringy.
- Do a Taste Test: Taste the gumbo and season with more black pepper and salt as needed. You can also add more chicken broth or chicken stock if you want a saucier gumbo.
- Serve and Enjoy: Serve over steamed white rice. Add some hot sauce or hot pepper sauce if desired
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