If you love spicy stews then this chicken and smoked sausage gumbo should definitely be on your list of things to make. It's a hearty warming stew filled with exotic cajun flavours.
Have you ever made gumbo? It's a delicous spicy stew packed with protein, vegetables and cajun flavours. This chicken and smoked sausage gumbo is ideal for a warming comfort food dinner in autumn and winter and like all stews, it's a great meal for reheating the next day. The leftovers are super tasty as well.
This gumbo might not be the most traditional and authentic gumbo. I've adapted it to make it easy enough for a tasty midweek meal. It does take a little time at the beginning as you stir the roux but once everything is in the pot you can leave it to simmer while you get on with other things. If you like spicy one pot meals then this chicken gumbo is for you!
What is the key to a good gumbo?
The Roux is Key to a Good Gumbo. In fact, it is the roux that really makes a gumbo, a gumbo. The roux is made with equal quantities of flour and oil and it's important not to burn it. You need to keep stirring all the time because if any bits get caught on the bottom of the pan they are likely to burn and ruin the flavour. Because of this, it is a bit more labour intensive than other stews.
Another key to most gumbos is the addition of okra or filé powder (made from a dried herb) to thick the stew. I wasn't able to get any of these but I still found that my gumbo thickened due to the roux that I'd made at the beginning.
What ingredients do you need for this gumbo?
To make this gumbo you'll need:
- Seasonings for the chicken - celery salt, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ground all spice
- Garlic - I prefer to use fresh crushed garlic but you can use a paste or puree instead
- Oil - It's best to use a neutral oil with a high smoking point.
- Chicken - Chicken thighs are best but I used breast as my family prefer it.
- Plain white flour - This is for making the roux
- Andouille sausage - This is a smoked pork sausage but it can be difficult to find. I use smoked Polish sausages instead as they are easier to find in the supermarket
- Vegetables - onion, bell pepper, celery, tomato
- Dried herbs - a bay leaf and some thyme
- Worcestershire sauce - This adds extra flavour. I use it as a seasoning at the end
- Tabasco sauce - I use tabasco to add some heat.
- Stock - Use chicken or vegetable stock. I usually use a stock cube but you can use ready made stock or homemade instead.
How to make chicken and smoked sausage gumbo
Do check out the full recipe card further down the page. First I mix all the spices and one clove of crushed garlic into the diced chicken. Then set aside while you make the roux.
Before making the roux do make sure that all the vegetables are diced and ready to add as you need to keep stirring the roux so can't chop them as it cooks.
Make the roux from equal quantities of oil and flour. Heat the oil in a saucepan and then stir in the flour. Keep stirring otherwise the flour will burn. Gradually the roux will darken and start to smell slightly nutty.
Turn the temperature right down and add the onions. Stir in and keep stirring for a few minutes. Then add the chicken, followed by all the other ingredients except the tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
When the gumbo is ready, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tabasco to taste.
How could you adapt this gumbo recipe?
This chicken and sausage gumbo was very tasty but there are ways you can adapt it further. Why not add a chopped fresh chilli to the gumbo to make it a bit more fiery.
If you like okra then add some too. You can also add other diced vegetables.
What do you serve with gumbo?
I serve this gumbo with rice and traditionally it is served with rice too. But there are other ways you can serve it too. You could serve it with bread, quinoa, pasta or even a baked potato.
What can you do with the leftovers?
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for at least 3 months.
To reheat, just put in the microwave or reheat in a saucepan. You may need to add a splash of water to stop it going to dry.
If freezing, defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating as above.
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo Recipe
This recipe is adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo
Ingredients for the Spice Blend
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 4 chicken thighs diced (or 2 chicken breasts)
Ingredients for the Gumbo
- 50 ml oil
- 50 g plain white flour
- 1 onion diced
- 180 g Andouille sausage I used smoked Polish sausages instead
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 celery sticks finely diced
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 400 ml chicken stock
- Mix all the ingredients for the spice blend together. Rub into the diced chicken along with the crushed garlic clove and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk or stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring and don't let any of it burn. I find it easier to use a wooden spoon to get into the corners of the pan. The roux will gradually darken to a deep brown.
- After about 15 minutes turn the heat down and add the diced onion. After about 10 minutes the sauce will be glossy and caramelised. Add the chicken and stir to brown all over.
- Add the sausage and the rest of the vegetables, including the other clove of garlic. Keep stirring for another couple of minutes.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir every now and again and skim off any oil that rises to the top.
- Cook a little rice to serve under the gumbo.
- When ready, season with Worcester Sauce and Tabasco before serving.
- Serve in bowls with the gumbo on top of the rice.
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Do let me know if you make this chicken and smoked sausage gumbo or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.