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New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – Part Deux

Of all the great New Orleans recipes gumbo is perhaps the most popular and the most requested. And that one along with jambalaya is one of the ones least frequently made at home. Why? As I said in the previous post, it can be time consuming.

New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – Part Deux

Styrofoam bowl of chicken & andouille gumbo, a...

A yummy chicken and sausage gumbo. One of the favorite of New Orleans recipes.

But I got me a secret that makes it so simple that heck I could make it every week and not feel any strain. I got this recipe out of a slow cook creole cookbook and I’ve made some slight modifications to it, as really any good cook would usually do. When a recipe says to add 2 cloves of garlic I laugh derisively. Really? Only 2 cloves? Ha ha ha. Give me a break. How about 5 or 10 cloves?

I don’t think you can ever add too much garlic, except that time a buddy of mine made some guacamole and he added so much garlic it was inedible. I guess there is a limit when the garlic is going to remain raw in a recipe. Cooking it though, well, you can never add too much in my view.

Anyway, I know you be dyin’ to get this recipe so here it is. Although the recipe in the book says Chicken Andouille Gumbo I rarely use andouille because it’s usually full of preservatives and stuff I don’t want to eat. So I just opt for a clean (without chemicals, I mean) cajun or italian sausage, spicy and smoky is better but not necessary. But really almost any kind of sausage will do.

I use a crock pot. But if you don’t have one just use a nice size 4-5 quart pot. Cook the gumbo on low.


1/2 cup olive oil, lard or bacon fat or a mixture of these three, and a little butter too
1/2 cup dry roux mix (that you’ve bought or made yourself. See the previous post.)
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup celery
6-8 cloves garlic mashed and chopped
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3/4 lb sausage
1 lb frozen sliced okra (if you can’t get this it’s OK. Just use a bag of mixed veggies)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt (add this last and taste the gumbo before you add it to make sure you don’t make it too salty)
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, with or without skin cut into 1 inch pieces

So in a heavy skillet what I do is saute the onion, bell pepper and celery (we call this the ‘trinity’ in southern Louisiana cooking lore) in the oil and fat on medium for a few minutes, let’s say 5 minutes. Next I add the garlic and stir it around for about a minute. Then I take the dry roux and sprinkle it in with veggies and stir it around till it’s well mixed so that they are coated with the roux. This should only take a few seconds.

Put this mixture in the crock pot and add all the other ingredients except the salt. I would add like half the salt now and maybe save the rest after it’s cooked for 4 or 5 hours to taste it. Make sure you don’t add too much and make it too salty. I usually like to stir the gumbo occasionally while it’s cooking.

For the sausage I put them in whole. If you slice them and put them in raw they will all fall apart in the gumbo. So I let it cook whole in the gumbo for several hours and then at some point before I serve it I take ’em out and slice ’em and then return ’em to the gumbo.

Set the crockpot to low for 6-7 hours. Serve it in large bowls with some steamed rice. White rice is best.

If you make this the day before you eat it it will be even better because when it sits in the fridge for 24 hours it has a chance to blend in well. Letting it sit for a day just does something to it that enhances the flavor.


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