The ultimate Creole chicken and sausage gumbo recipe made with a rich and creamy dark roux, bell peppers and other vegetables, seared chicken, smoked andouille, tomato, and plenty of Creole seasoning. When you're done with a bowl, you'll beg for more.
This is one of those recipes you can't get enough of. If you've ever had a really good gumbo, you'll know what I'm talking about. I don't think there is anything quite like a good gumbo.
It's pure Louisiana in a bowl, basically the epitome of the region, a beautiful representation of the great melting pot of cuisines that comprises the state.
In Louisiana, you have influences from southern cooking, French, African, Spanish, Irish, Italian, even American Indian. That is what makes Cajun and Creole cooking so fantastic.
Check out my post about my New Orleans foodie experience. So awesome!
What Is Gumbo? What Makes Gumbo a Gumbo?
Gumbo is a conglomeration of different cultures and cuisines. It is essentially a stew, and it the official state cuisine of Louisiana. It is made from stock that is thickened with a roux and sometimes includes okra and/or filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves) as additional thickeners.
Flat out, Gumbo is AWESOME. HUGE on flavor.
What Are the Ingredients in a Gumbo?
More traditional gumbos start with a roux - a mixture of fat and flour - then add the Cajun Holy Trinity of vegetables, which is bell peppers, onion and celery. Stock is added along with a variety of meats and seafood, such as smoked andouille sausage, chicken, gator, crawfish, shrimp and more.
More traditional gumbos include okra as a thickener, and can also be thickened with filé powder which is dried and ground sassafras leaves.
From there, the recipe interpretation is open to the cook.
What is the Cajun Holy Trinity?
The French have the mirepoix - carrots, onion and celery - and French cuisine has heavily influenced Cajun cooking. When the French landed in Louisiana, they quickly found that carrots do not grow well in the Louisiana soil, so replaced them with bell peppers.
So, the Cajun Holy Trinity consists of bell peppers, onion and celery.
The Art of the Gumbo
The KEY to making a good gumbo, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is in the roux. You absolutely MUST master a proper roux if you're going to achieve a good gumbo. Luckily it isn't difficult.
It is essentially an equal mixture of oil and flour that is stirred slowly, continually, in a pot over low heat. You CAN use butter instead of oil, but oil is traditional, particularly peanut oil, though I've used different oils and everything worked out just fine.
How to Make a Good Roux
Essentially, stir together the oil and flour in a large pot and bring up the heat. Keep it fairly low. Start stirring. The oil and flour will meld quickly and you'll have a sort of liquid slurry that comforms to the bottom of the pot. If you don't keep stirring, the roux will start to burn and you'll have to start over, so do not stop stirring.
Stirring is a must!
You can smell it when the roux burns. It's acrid, unpleasant, a bit like burnt popcorn. If that happens, forget it. Toss it and start over. It will ruin the flavor of the gumbo. So be careful, and don't bring up the heat too high. Keep it low and slow.
What you're looking for is the color of the roux. It starts out the color of flour, very light, batter-ish, but as it heats while you're stirring, it will begin to brown, going from a light brown to the color of peanut butter or copper, and eventually to a rich chocolate brown. This can take anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on your desired color. Personally, I take 20-30 minutes for my roux.
You can stop when you achieve a copper or peanut butter color. The roux is great then, coaxed of outstanding flavor. You'll have a thicker gumbo with this color of roux. If you continue to a darker chocolate color, you'll have a thinner gumbo with a slightly deeper flavor, so feel free to experiment to discover which shade of roux produces the best gumbo for your taste buds.
Learn more about How to Make a Roux.
Adjusting the Heat Factor
Cajun and Creole cuisine, particularly gumbo, aren't meant to be HOT. It is SPICY for sure, which means it includes a lot of spice and seasonings, but as a chilihead, I like to bring in a little bit of heat to please my own palate.
So, when working with the ingredients - bell peppers, onion, and celery are traditional with Cajun and Creole cooking - I like to include jalapeno peppers as well, or some other hotter peppers, depending on my mood. Here is a great example of a very hot and spicy gumbo that I love - Mike's Spicy Gumbo, made with ghost peppers.
I hope you enjoy it! People ask me for this recipe all the time, so here you go. It's finally on the web site. Let me know how it turns out for you!
Gumbo is a force of its own. It is so unique and tasty, and totally worth the time and effort to make a big batch. I can eat this every day. I love it with potato salad on the side.
Check Out Some Other Gumbo and Other Recipes
Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces andouille sliced into ¼ inch slices
- ½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley + more for serving
- 1 tablespoon filé powder or to taste
- For Serving: Cooked white rice if desired
- Heat a pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the sliced andouille. Cook a couple minutes per side until browned. Set aside until ready to use.
- Add ½ cup peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook for 20-30 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux browns to the color of chocolate.
- Add peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and andouille. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add crushed tomatoes, Creole seasoning and chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.
- Add bay leaves and thyme and cook at medium-low heat for 1 hour to thicken.
- Stir in parsley and cook 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in filé powder.
- Serve over white rice and garnish with extra parsley.