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New Orleans Chicken and Sausage Gumbo are loaded with all your favorite herbs, aromatics, and vegetables. This classic Cajun-Creole comfort food guarantees to satisfy your belly with all the rich and savory flavors you’ve been craving!
As a New Orleanian, I take pride in gumbo. The herbs, spices, chicken, shrimp, ham, tasso, sausage, crab, okra, stock, hot sausage, roux and of course the aroma. All of these are key elements to an amazing gumbo. I want you to be able to make a pot that tastes as it does in various homes in New Orleans.
Just because I take pride in my gumbo does not mean everybody else does. Over the years, I have seen some pretty blasphemous ingredients added to gumbo. Some things are not supposed to be added to gumbo, no matter what. If you are guilty of adding these ingredients, it's not your fault. You did not have a friend like me to tell you, "Babby, that don't go in there." in my New Orleans accent.
To bring this homemade gumbo recipe to life, you’re going to need the following:
Gumbos are all about the roux. Make sure your roux is a lovely dark chocolate brown color before you add in your liquid. Once you’ve added the stock, the color will lighten up.
These add an insane amount of flavor to this homemade gumbo recipe. Drumettes are essential between the flavor from the chicken itself and all the flavor that resides in the chicken bones.
Beef smoked sausage
You can use any kind of cooked smoked sausage you want.
Gumbo vegetables are onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Do not take creative liberties here. This flavor combination is the base of Cajun-Creole cuisine.
Make sure you’re using the unsalted or low sodium kind. If all you have is salted chicken stock, leave out the added salt and wait until it’s almost done to add salt to taste.
Bay leaf and thyme add tons of fresh and savory flavors to this comforting dish. I prefer to use fresh herbs for maximum flavor, but the dried versions still add tons of flavor.
I always cook my rice beforehand so I can add a nice scoop on top of my gumbo. You can also serve the gumbo on its own or with buttered bread, potato salad, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
What NOT to Add to Gumbo
In the age of social media, I’ve seen some strange things. When it comes to a homemade gumbo from New Orleans, I have very strong opinions.
You can thank my grandmother for this. That being said, there are certain ingredients that you should never, ever be added to gumbo. If a recipe tells you to add them, don’t trust them! Anybody from New Orleans would agree with this list. My homemade gumbo is fool-proof.
This might ruffle some feathers, but here’s what NOT to add to gumbo:
● Whole Crawfish
● Boudin (sausage mixed with rice)
● Browning ingredients
● Hot dogs (my grandmother would have some choice words for this one)
What TO Add to Gumbo
Now that you know what you can never add to gumbo let’s go over some of the ingredients you can add to gumbo. If you’re looking for a good substitution, I’ve compiled a list of ‘approved’ gumbo ingredients.
Here are some of my favorite ingredients to add to gumbo:
● Smoked Sausage (Andouille, Polish, Spicy Sausage, Turkey, etc.)
● Tasso (seasoned smoked ham or turkey)
● Crab (blue crabs or smaller crabs work best)
● File (ground sassafras, used as a thickening agent. If you use too much, it will create a slimy consistency. We added it at the dinner table in my family.)
● Bay leaves
● Cayenne pepper
New Orleans Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe Tips & Tricks
Want to make the best homemade gumbo possible? Follow these tips for gumbo perfection:
- If you like a thicker gumbo, reduce the stock from 12 cups to 10 cups.
- Looking for some heat? Double up on the cayenne powder, or toss in a few red chili peppers with the rest of your ingredients.
- Don’t be afraid of leftovers—gumbo is ALWAYS better the next day.
- Follow this recipe and video, and you will always serve an authentic New Orleans gumbo in your home.
Can you make it ahead?
Gumbo is excellent for making ahead of time and saving for later. I don’t shy away from making huge batches because I know there’s no way my homemade gumbo won’t get devoured before it spoils. You can store gumbo in one of two ways:
Fridge: After the gumbo cools, transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Freezer: After the gumbo cools, transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Heat a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, add the gumbo, and cook until the mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and enjoy. If heating from frozen, I recommend transferring the gumbo to the fridge the day before you want to eat it so it can fully thaw.
New Orleans Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Cooking Tips:
Gumbos are all about the roux. Make sure you have a coco brown colored roux. Once you add liquid to it, it will lighten up the color. If you like a thicker gumbo just reduce the liquid t0 10 cups. Gumbo is ALWAYS better the next day.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about making chicken and sausage homemade gumbo:
What is usually in gumbo?
Everybody makes gumbo a little different, but some foundational components should be the same across the board. A gumbo should always be made with roux, okra, some kind of stock, smoked sausage, vegetables, herbs, spices, and a thickening agent like file powder.
How do you add flavor to gumbo?
The best way to add flavor to gumbo is to get a good roux. The roux adds an innumerous amount of flavor. Layer your spices to build depth of flavor, use stock (not water), and use a good smoked sausage.
Can you make a roux with gluten-Free flour?
Absolutely. Most gluten-free flours will work as a one-to-one substitution for all-purpose flour. If you try this out for yourself, let me know in the comments how it turns out!
what to serve with New Orleans Chicken and Sausage Gumbo?
Because my homemade gumbo is an entire meal in itself, you don’t need to make much else to pair with it. I usually like to serve gumbo with some buttered French bread, biscuits, or salad (usually bread, let’s be honest) and a delicious homemade dessert afterward. Need some inspiration? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with gumbo:
- Garlic Chive Cheddar Biscuits
- Moist Southern Cornbread
- Homemade Strawberry Ginger Lemonade
- Ciroc Peach Cobbler Parfait
- Strawberry Whisky Cake
Black History Month Potluck:
Also, you can find a range of recipes from my friends below as we do a virtual potluck for Black History Month.
Beautiful Eats & Things | Okra, Corn, & Tomato Chicken Stew
Beyond The Bayou Blog | Mackerel Balls With Biscuits & Cane Syrup
B Sugar Mama | Red Beans and Rice
Butter Be Ready | Caribbean- Curry Goat with Rice and Peas
Cooks with Soul | Boudin balls
D.M.R. Fine Foods | Spice Roasted Chicken
Dash of Jazz | Soul Food Power Bowl
Dish it with Tisha | Jamaican Curry Chicken
Domestic Dee | Chicken Sliders
Eat.Drink.Frolic. | Bourbon + sweet potato pie
First and Full | Homemade Peach Pie
Food Fidelity | Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich
Food is Love Made Edible | Smothered Okra with Chicken and Smoked Sausage
Foodie In New York | Chess Pie
Immaculate Bites | Pimento Cheese
Kaluhi's Kitchen | Pilipili & Rosemary marinated mbuzi choma with Kachumbari
Kenneth Temple | Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Marisa Moore Nutrition | Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cabbage
Meiko And The Dish | Hot Buttered Rum Biscuits
My Life Runs On Food | Southern Style Caesar Salad
Rosalynn Daniels | Osso Bucco
Savory Thoughts | Haitian Patty
Simply LaKita | Fried Okra
Sweet Tea & Thyme | Spiced Peach Shortcakes
That Girl Cooks Healthy | Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
The Hungry Hutch | Cornbread Dressing
The Seasoning Bottle | Guava Short Ribs
Whisk It Real Gud | Banana Bread
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New Orleans Chicken Sausage Gumbo
- ½ cup canola oil ¼ cup reserve
- 12-16 drumettes
- 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 onion medium diced
- 1 bell pepper medium diced
- 1 stalk celery medium diced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 12 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 24 oz. beef sausage sliced
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1-2 cups brown rice cooked
- In a heavy bottom 5 qt. pot, over medium high heat oil, once oil is hot, add chicken and fry in batches about 3 minutes rotating to fry evenly. Once chicken is browned sit to the side. If oil has reduced add remaining ¼ cup of oil; bring oil to a smoke point, you will see a faint white smoke coming off oil, (a thicker smoke will burn the flour, remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes.) add flour and whisk, you want a dark chocolate brown colored roux, if roux is browning to fast remove off heat while stirring, reduce heat to medium-low and place pot over heat until desired color is achieved.
- Once roux is dark chocolate brown add onion, bell pepper and celery, stirring for 2-3 minutes, add garlic, bay leaf and cayenne. Turn heat up to medium-high heat, add stock in thirds, add chicken, sausage, thyme and worcestershire. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour uncovered; skim any fat that rises to the top. Taste gumbo and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice.
Luna Regina says
Even without okra, this gumbo looks amazing. Thank you!
Shayla Davis-Watson says
This gumbo was amazing ????. My daughter made it for my birthday party, everyone gave rave reviews. It was awesome.
Love it! Sounds like you have a designated gumbo maker in your life. lol
Reggie C. says
Fantastic recipe and I’ll never not use wing flats and drummettes in my gumbo. Thanks for sharing!