Gumbo is the most famous Cajun dish, and this Chicken Gumbo recipe is the classic version from my Mama's kitchen. It's made with sausage, easy to follow, and makes a delicious pot every time. But first you make a roux.
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When people find out I'm from south Louisiana, the conversation always gravitates toward food. They usually want to know if I cook gumbo. Some even ask if I have a recipe. I used to say, "Yes I cook gumbo and no I don't have a writtten recipe, but it's easy to learn. " I've even told a few I'd teach them, but somehow we never seem to get around to it.
The idea for Louisiana Woman Blog started one day during a phone conversation with my Mama. I told her, "People are always asking me how to cook gumbo, so I am going to start a blog just so I can say, 'Oh, it's easy; just go to my blog and follow the simple recipe.'" She laughed, and when I asked her if she would help me put her recipe on paper (or screen), she said, "I can't, Kay."
Somehow she didn't see the need, or maybe putting it online was incomprehensible. So I pressed her with questions until she gave me all the measurements and steps to a perfect pot of chicken gumbo with sausage.
She was even saying things like, "...and tell them to do this and not to do that." By the end of the phone call, her voice had perked up, and she sounded quite pleased with herself. (I could hear the 6th-grade teacher coming out of her. Thanks, Mama!)
So I invited the kids over for supper and began making a gumbo. I took note of every step and ingredient, and it turned out to be the best gumbo. So here's the chicken gumbo recipe with easy step-by-step instructions just for you.
How To Make Chicken Gumbo?
First, you make a roux! That's how many Cajun dishes begin.
You can buy roux in a jar, but you don't have to. It's easy to make your own by following A Roux Lesson. Take your time. Add the vegetables as soon as the roux becomes a the color of cocoa to stop the browning of the roux. If you happen to burn it, it's ok. Just start over. Practice makes perfect!
Lower the heat under the pot and cook the chopped vegetables for about 5-10 minutes or until they're tender. Remove the pan of roux and vegetable mixture from the heat and set aside.
A secret to a richer gumbo is browning the chicken pieces in a little bit of oil in the gumbo pot. Then remove the chicken and return back to the bowl.
Next, add the broth and water with the roux and vegetables to the same pot to simmer with the chicken drippings.
The last few steps are to add the chicken to the gumbo and allow it to simmer for a half hour. Then add the sausage and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone. Serve with rice and a spoonful of potato salad in or beside the gumbo.
This first tip is from my baby sister, Virginia, who says that using a food processor to chop vegetables instead of by hand makes a gumbo taste different. So I agree it's best to chop by hand with a very sharp knife!
Speaking of chopping, there is one thing I don't chop anymore: garlic. Momma gave me a nifty garlic press for Christmas one year. All I do is fill it with an unpeeled garlic clove, squeeze, and instantly tiny bits of garlic appear to flavor the food. Plus, it's a cool hand exerciser.
Another tip is that when making gumbo, you get to chop lots of onions, so I've learned to wear onion goggles to keep from crying. I got my first pair from Williams Sonoma, but here's a pair I recommend. They really do work. This makes for fewer tears in my life because I hate crying for no good reason, don't you?
Like in most Cajun kitchens, I cook with Magnelite Pots, which are perfect for cooking gumbo. You can get your own Cajun oval roaster from Amazon here. But any heavy pot will do. Make sure it's large enough to hold every last drop of that rich goodness.
More Recipes From Louisiana Woman!
- Shrimp Okra Gumbo
- Smothered Okra For Gumbo
- Seafood Gumbo
- Goose Gumbo
- Creole Seasoning Blend Recipe
- Plain Potato Salad
- Everyday Rice Every Day
- 24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes
- .5 cups of Canola Oil
- .5 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 large onion, chopped (1.5 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 (approximately 4-pound) fryer cut up with or without skin
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- .25 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- .25 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more
- 2 tablespoons Canola oil
- 2 15-ounce cans or 32 ounces of unsalted chicken broth
- 10 cups water
- 1 pound sliced fresh or smoked pork/beef sausage, optional.
- Heat .25 cup of the Canola oil until hot in a heavy saucepan on medium heat; add the flour and brown the roux until it is the color of cocoa powder stirring continually, so as not to burn the roux.
- Lower the heat a little, put the vegetables into the roux, and stir while cooking for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened; remove the roux and vegetables from the heat and set aside.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
- Brown the chicken pieces in a large gumbo pot with 2 tablespoons of Canola oil, then take the chicken out of the pot and place it back into the bowl.
- Pour the roux mixture into the same pot the chicken was browned in and stir the chicken broth and water into the roux mixture, allowing it to simmer with the lid on the pot (cracked to release steam) for 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken and simmer the gumbo for a half hour.
- Add the sausage and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone.
- Serve with rice and a spoonful of potato salad in or beside the gumbo.
- Take your time making the roux; it should take about 10 minutes.
- The smoked sausage adds another layer of flavor, but the classic fresh sausage also tastes great.
- Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Category: Gumbos, soups, and bisques
- Cuisine: Cajun
Keywords: chicken gumbo
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