Get a taste of the South with this gumbo. Made with a rich dark roux and your favorite proteins like chicken, sausage, and seafood this easy to make meal is bound to be a hit. Spice up your weekly dinner with this tasty recipe.
Ok so here is the deal I have been in love with gumbo since the first time I had it. Then when I was still a teenager one of the first times I went to New Orleans I made it my mission to have it. My love for it hasn’t changed and this is was my way to recreate my very first memories of this popular dish. This makes a lot so if you love leftovers then this is the meal for you. It is great for feeding a large group as well as for meal prep which is one of my favorites since I don’t really like to share.
In this recipe
This is one of those recipes that feels like there is everything and the kitchen sink inside. However there are a few that you will want to be aware of and you can also omit.
Okra: acts as a thickener as well as creating a great base for the soup. Depending on your tastes this can be omitted.
Andouille sausage: is traditionally used when sausage is an addition to this dish. However almost any pork sausage link can work if the flavor of andouille isn’t to your taste. I always use andouille.
Chicken: you will want to use dark meat for this recipe as it imparts a nice flavor and has a nice texture when cooked for a prolonged time.
White rice: traditionally this dish is served with short grain rice however if you have a favorite kind of white rice you like feel free to use it.
Types of gumbo
I have found that gumbo sits in two camps however there is an exception. The first camp would be proteins like chicken and sausage and the other tends to be all seafood. There are times when shrimp might be added to chicken and andouille. When making a seafood gumbo to get the best and most intense flavor you want to cook all of the seafood with the shells on. Crab legs should be whole and you can leave the tails of the shrimp on as well.
Cook the meat first
If you are not making a seafood gumbo you want to make sure that you cook the chicken and sausage first. This will allow you to season the chicken as well as brown it. The browned chicken and sausage will give a better depth of flavor to the dish. Another reason for this is that you know that the chicken will be cooked all the way through by the time that the gumbo is done simmering.
It is all about the roux
This is probably one of the most important steps you have to deal with and probably the most time consuming. The first thing you want to make sure that you do is always use a 1:1 ratio of fat to flour. This can be bacon fat, butter, lard, a flavor neutral oil. Keep stirring the roux it will feel like it takes forever for the flour to get any darker then it will start to darken really quickly. You will want to have your okra and trinity ready to add to keep the roux from getting too dark. A good milk chocolate color is the perfect roux.
Trinity in gumbo?
A lot of Southern cooking you will see references to trinity. Similar to mirepoix, trinity is a combination of 3 vegetables that are used for a base of flavors in many dishes. Trinity consists of green pepper, onion, and celery. There are times when okra becomes an unofficial member of the trinity due to its special flavor. Once the roux is ready you want to add the trinity to the pot quickly. This will help keep the roux from burning and the vegetables will soften.
Looking for other Southern recipes?
Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo
- Dutch oven or large soup pot
- 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 pound shrimp shelled and deviend
- 14 ounces andouille sausage cubed or sliced
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 cups green bell pepper diced about 1 green pepper
- 2 cups onion diced about 1 medium onion
- 2 cups celery diced about 3 stalks
- 2 cups okra sliced
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- In a Dutch oven or large soup pot cook the chicken thighs on medium-high heat. You can cut them before or after cooking. Once they are cooked, 4-10 minutes depending on size, remove them from the pot and cut if you have not.
- Add the andouille sausage, chicken, pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt and paprika. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In the Dutch oven add the flour and butter on high high heat. Melt the butter and stir. The flour will slowly change color from pale white to a rich milk chocolate color. Add the okra to the roux and cook for a minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, and green bell pepper and cook until onions start to soften. About 7-10 minutes.
- Add the parsley and garlic to the pot and cook for another minute.
- Next add the andouille sausage, chicken broth, and bay leaves back to the pot and pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 45 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
- While the gumbo is simmering, cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- Serve over a bed of white rice.