A silky smooth gumbo that can be made days in advance!
This is one of the best dishes on therosetable.com, hands down. I make this every month when it’s cold outside and it always turns out perfect. I like to keep bags of chopped sausage and chicken in my freezer specifically for gumbo (and yes, I write “GUMBO” on the bags) to expedite prep. It’s a good idea to chop all of your veggies before you get started.
A traditional gumbo starts with a labor of love: a roux that’s the key to traditional New Orleans style gumbo. That’s the hardest part if this recipe. if the roux burns, you’ll have to start over but don’t let that deter you. It’s not as scary as it sounds. Turn on some jazz, wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to stand over the stove for quite a while. I did a lot of gumbo research prior to creating this recipe and was going to use butter for the roux but Emeril uses canola oil and who am I to disagree with Emeril on cajun cuisine?
Once you have the roux the correct color, you add veggies and cook until soft. Then you add seasonings and most of the other ingredients and let it do it’s thing! It’s time consuming on the front end but once you add all of your ingredients, it’s pretty hands-off for an hour.
A major bonus of this recipe for entertaining is that I think it’s better a day or two after you make it. For my Princess and the Frog dinner party, I actually made this on Wednesday evening to serve on Friday evening. I took the Dutch oven out of the fridge at about 5:30 pm on Friday and let it come to room temperature for about an hour so I wasn’t heating up a super chilled Dutch oven. Then I turned the flame on low and let it heat back up while I cooked white rice.
This gumbo has a wonderful mouthfeel thanks to the silky texture of okra. Don’t leave the okra out! It would change the texture of the gumbo entirely. Get good quality Andouille. It makes a huge difference since the bits from browning the sausage end up in your roux. It’s quite spicy the first day that you make it but mellows out as it sits. Feel free to kick up the spice if you’re into that sort of thing. I’ll stick with my Andouille and cayenne! Now, who’s ready for a bowl?
Serves 6-8 with rice
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup flour
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4” pieces
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced into medallions
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock (not broth)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz package sliced okra, thawed
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3-6 cups white rice for serving
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven or large heavy pot coated with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, cook chicken and sausage in batches on medium high heat until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Whisk together vegetable oil and flour in Dutch oven over medium low heat. Cook until the color of peanut butter, reduce heat to low, and cook until the color of chocolate. This could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Do not let it burn and don’t stop whisking it.
- Add onions, green pepper, and celery and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. The mixture will turn very dark. Don’t panic. It’s not burning.
- Add all other ingredients (including chicken and sausage) except for parsley, okra, and rice.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and cook for additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While your gumbo is simmering, cook okra according to package directions (I tossed the okra in a sauce pan, covered with water, brought to a boil, and boiled for three minutes). Drain.
- Add parsley and okra to gumbo and simmer another 15 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves. Serve with 1/2-1 cup rice. Sprinkle with parsley.
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This will warm you up just in time for Mardi Gras! Read more about Princess and the Frog here. Watch the video: