If you’re in the mood for a classic Cajun dish, then you’ve come to the right place.
We love Cajun food so much, from Authentic Jambalaya, Cajun Dirty Rice, and Classic Beignets. This gumbo is classic in so many ways, and we’re going to take you through each step! With ease!
HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
The history of classic gumbo down in the Big Easy is as colorful as the city it hails from.
There are a few essential components to making gumbo that is true to its history. A dark roux is a must, but we’ll get that in a moment.
In the meantime, watch us show you how to make this iconic cajun dish of deliciousness!
ROASTED CHICKEN IS DEEP IN FLAVOR
We love roasting three split chicken breasts for our chicken and sausage gumbo.
Simply rub oil all over the chicken and then season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning (see NOTES for Cajun seasoning substitute).
Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 50 minutes to an hour, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
A DARK ROUX IS ESSENTIAL FOR GUMBO
A roux is a thickening technique that is used to make gravy or any liquid that needs to be thickened. A roux can be white, blond, brown, or dark brown.
A dark roux requires your full attention and will take about 25 to 40 minutes to the correct color. The roux can be made up to a day in advance.
EXPERT TIP: Once the flour has been incorporated into the oil, you’ll want to use a whisk to constantly stir the roux. Even though you’ll keep the heat low, the pan will still get quite hot and you must take extra care to not let the flour burn. Using a whisk helps to circulate the mixture more than a spoon will. And DO NOT leave the roux, while on the stove, unattended. It can catch on fire! Also, be careful as you whisk, if it splatters and gets on exposed skin, it can cause a burn.
USING FILÉ IS TRADITIONAL, BUT NOT REQUIRED
Next, it’s time to build the foundation of the gumbo.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the Cajun holy trinity: onion, celery, green bell pepper. But we’re going a step further and adding chopped poblano and jalapeno to the mix. And then comes the seasoning. A combo of both white and black peppers are traditional. We love the addition of smoked paprika and chili powder.
EXPERT TIP: Filé powder is ground sassafras leaves and can be found in some markets in the Southern U.S. or online. It adds a depth of flavor to traditional gumbo that we really love. But, if you can’t get your hands on any, don’t worry about it. The gumbo will still be amazing without it.
After adding chicken stock and bringing it to a boil and then a simmer for 20 minutes, it’s time to add the roux.
The gumbo will become darker in color and somewhat thicker.
After 30 minutes, add the chopped roasted chicken, then after another 30 minutes, add the sliced andouille sausage. And then in the last 10 minutes, add the seared okra.
CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO FAQs
- Is there a substitute for andouille sausage? Of course! You can really go with any type of smoked sausage. Andouille is traditional and does have a little more spice than other types of smoked sausage. We recommend slicing and then sauteeing the andouille to give it a little char and to lock in flavor, but this isn’t necessary.
- How do I know when the gumbo is done? If you follow the timeframe in the recipe, you should be good. As the gumbo cooks, the oil from the roux will separate and rise to the top. Use a spoon to skim visible oil. Typically, the gumbo is done when no more oil is rising to the top.
- Is this gumbo spicy? This gumbo has a low-medium spicy-heat level. To reduce the heat, substitute regular smoked sausage for the andouille. Reducing, or omitting the jalapeno and chili powder and limiting the hot sauce will keep it very mild.
- How long will gumbo keep? In the fridge for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
HOW TO SERVE THE GUMBO
Gumbo is typically served over steamed white rice. Click the link to see how to make perfect steamed rice which is ideal for this gumbo.
Louisiana hot sauce is always a good addition to each serving, as well as some thinly sliced scallions, or green onions.
And then all you need is a big spoon and a hungry belly!
Ready to make delicious and authentic Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo? Go for it!
And when you make it, be sure to take a picture and post it on Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Large heavy skillet, such as cast iron (for making the roux)
- Large soup pot, or Dutch oven
- 3 chicken breasts skin-on, bone-in, split
- 1 cup vegetable oil plus extra for chicken breasts
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tsp black pepper divided, 1 for chicken, 1 for seasoning the gumbo
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 poblano pepper stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno finely chopped with seeds and ribs removed.
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 12 oz Andouille sausage cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
- 12 oz okra sliced, fresh or frozen (if frozen, let thaw)
- 2 cups white rice steamed
- Cayenne hot sauce for garnishing
- 3 tbsp green onions thinly sliced, for garnish
PREPARING THE CHICKEN
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Rub the chicken breasts all over with about 1 tbsp of oil, and season with about 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a baking rack. Roast in the oven for 50 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Remove and let cool. Remove the skin and then pull the meat from the bone and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
MAKE THE DARK ROUX
- In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and use a whisk to fully incorporate.
- Bring the mixture to a strong simmer, and then lower the heat to low. Whisk constantly until the roux has turned a dark brown color, about 30 to 40 minutes. Don't let the roux burn! If black specks appear, discard the mixture and start again. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool.
PREPARE THE SAUSAGE AND THE OKRA
- In a medium saucepan, heat about 1 tsp of oil over medium heat. Cook the sliced sausage until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the okra and cook until no longer slimy and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
MAKE THE GUMBO
- In a large soup pot, or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, poblano, jalapeno and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add salt (1 tsp), black pepper (1 tsp), white pepper (1 tsp), chili powder (1 tsp), smoked paprika (1 tsp), and filé powder (1 tsp) to the vegetables. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the dark roux into the pot and stir to incorporate.
- Add the chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Skimming oil from the surface when visible.
- Add the sausage and simmer for another 30 minutes, continuing to skim excess oil.
- In the last 5 minutes, add the sauteed okra.
- Taste and add salt, if necessary.
- Serve over steamed white rice and cayenne hot sauce. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried celery seed (optional)
- 2 tsp each: garlic powder and onion powder
- ½ tsp each: salt and black pepper
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in March 2014 but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe and new photography, expert tips, and a fabulous new video!
If you detest slimy okra as much as I do don’t worry about omitting it! This recipe will be sublime just the same!
Hi Patti! We agree!! It all works out in the end!
Hi there! Can shrimp be added in addition to the chicken and sausage, and if so, am I correct in thinking I should add it at the end of cooking? Thank you!
Hi Brenna! Absolutely! Shrimp would be an excellent addition! And yes, add it during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Let us know if you make it and how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesey
This recipe looks interesting, but as a science teacher I am concerned about the Filé powder you menti0n, which is made from ground sassafras. The sassafras tree contains a high concentration of a chemical called safrole. Safrole was listed as a carcinogen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is still banned, to the best of my knowledge. Could you recommend a substitute? Thank you!
Hi Linda! That’s so interesting! Filé can be hard to find outside of Louisiana, and we’ve made gumbo plenty of times and not included it and the dish was still amazingly delicious! We hope you try it and if you do, please let us know what you think! Best, Kris & WEsey
Holy Gumbo this was good. It was very labor intensive so I would suggest starting it the day before. Also, I think Will above was correct. The oil and flour measurements should be reversed. You said it correctly in the video but I followed the recipe when I made it. I just added more flour and made it work. But good thing that we have two arms with all of that whisking. It finally was around 50 minutes for me and a few skin burns to prove it. And I really did watch and read your cautions about how hot it was. You were correct. The recipe was really worth all of the time. It really was delicious served over your steamed rice recipe with the bay leaf. Have plenty of leftovers and I’m thankful for that. Reheating for lunch was even better. I’m glad that this recipe popped up on the membership site and I looked at it. A good Sunday recipe when you have time on your hands. Thx for sharing a nice authentic recipe despite the comment and changes to the recipe from Kirk above. BTW, I really had no idea what he was saying. Well done, guys!
Thank you, Diane! You are the BEST!!!!! Removing the oil is a challenge with gumbo. It definitely is a process! But sounds like you made it like a true Cajun!! Thank you as always!!!!! Kris & Wesley
I made this recipe last night and the only issue I had was that the roux made the gumbo really oily and I couldn’t figure out why. Until I did some checking today..I think the roux oil to flour ratio should be switched, instead of 1 cup oil to 3/4 cup flour it should be opposite. I checked several other recipes and the oil to flour ratio was always more flour than oil.
In born and raised in deep South I love chicken gumbo with sausage but I love let’s say just chicken gumbo or shrimp gumbo and also served with okra this is traditional and a capful if white vinegar gets rid of slime from okra. Roux is made for a stew not a gumbo sha I make my gumbo from a large onion finely chopped in olive oil and browned till dark then add da okra then da chicken. Brown dat till chicken till dark in da onion add da celery. Now it’s time to add da water fill da pot. Stir in da salt black or red pepper to taste add quarter teaspoon paprika a lil sage quarter teaspoon don’t hurt.Add cooking spoon of dat Winchester sauce stirring chop dem onion tops parsley a lil Tony Thatcher’s seasoning for a lil kick if you have kids eating adjust. Taste see how far taste adjust da salt pepper. Get as rice cookin . it’s going to be a deep dark caramel color. Cook dinner about hour serve hot over as rice fill dat bowl with as broth mmm good for dem cold days.