Buckle up, because this big batch of Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo makes a near-full 6.5 quart pot.
I always figure if I’m going to the effort of making a rich, deeply darkened roux on the stove top, then I’m gonna make a lot of it while I’m at it. It’s totally worth the time.
When it comes to gumbo, so much of the full bodied flavor comes from the roux and while it is a slow process, it is also very simple.
Much has been made of having to “babysit” roux when you want a rich chocolate-dark finish, but although you do need to be fully present, it does not necessarily require the constant whisking or stirring that the depths of the internet can intimate. The key is to adjust your burner so that it stays in the sweet spot of toasting the flour in the fat without spitting, foaming or otherwise getting so hot that it burns in places.
I would rather spend 45 minutes to get the perfect, slow toasted flavor than have it done in 20 – 30 minutes while risking flying hot fat or the tendency to burn, which would make the roux inedible. Take your time and enjoy the process!
I love to add okra to gumbo to thicken and bring some extra body, but okra cooked that long tends to end up being very soft and breaking down into the broth, since that is how its thickening power works.
To get around this, I like to add half the okra earlier on in the cooking process for thickening & silkiness, then add the rest of the okra later so that some of the okra is closer to a crisp tender and makes for a nice bite alongside the chicken and sausage. The best of both worlds, really.
When it comes to serving, this Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo is lovely with a scoop of white rice and – in my case, an over abundance of – sliced green onions. I also love to pop some good crusty french bread and salted butter on the table, too.Print
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo
Looking for a weekend kitchen project? This simple chicken & smoked sausage gumbo makes big batch comfort food for a crowd or the week ahead.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10 1x
- Method: Stovetop
- 1 cup / 240 ml neutral flavored oil, I use this avocado oil
- 1 cup / 130 g all purpose flour
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 6 stalks celery hearts, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 1 1/4 lbs / 20 oz hot smoked andouille or Cajun style sausage, about 6 links, see notes
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups / 48 oz low or no sodium chicken broth, see notes
- Two 340 g / 12 oz packages frozen, sliced okra, divided
- 1 1/4 lb / 20 oz leftover roast or rotisserie chicken
- hot sauce, Cajun seasoning and / or cayenne pepper, to taste
WHISK: Add the oil to a 6.5 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until combined and then cook, whisking very often, until the roux thickens and deepens in color, going from a pale blonde, then to a golden hue and finally to a rich milk chocolate color throughout, about 45 minutes.
SOFTEN: Reduce the heat a little to medium low, then stir in the diced onion, celery and bell peppers. Stir the vegetables through the now glossy and thick roux. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to release water into the roux and soften, loosening the mixture, about 20 minutes.
BROWN: While the vegetables are softening, heat another large skillet. Slice the smoked sausage a little under 1/2 inch / 1.25 cm thick, then add it to the skillet and cook until caramelized and browned in spots, flipping over to brown the other side, too. Transfer the browned sausage to a paper towel lined plate and reserve for later.
SIMMER: Stir in the minced garlic, dried thyme, black pepper and smoked paprika, cooking for a minute or two. Add the bay leaves and stir the broth into the roux a little at time so that you have a smooth texture throughout. Add the reserved rendered smoked sausage to the dutch oven as well as half of the sliced okra and increase the heat enough to bring the gumbo base to a simmer. Cover with a lid and adjust the heat so that the gentle simmer stays steady, stirring here and there while the gumbo cooks for about one hour.
FINISH: Taste and adjust the seasoning with extra salt if needed. Add the chopped chicken and remaining okra and bring back to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is warmed through and the added okra is still a little tender, about 20 minutes or so. Taste once again and adjust the salt or heat with additional hot sauce, Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper as needed. Remove the bay leaves before serving alongside white rice and plenty of chopped green onions.
- The most important element of the gumbo’s flavor base here is your choice of sausage, since the seasoning from the sliced links will flavor the entire broth. I like to choose an andouille or cajun style hot link that has a little more heat than I would comfortably eat on its own and then make sure to give the sausage plenty of time to infuse throughout the broth before I taste and adjust the salt and heat as or if necessary.
- For similar reasons, I like to start off with low or no salt added broth as a base if using boxed stock or broth. Both ready made broth and sausage can be very liberally seasoned with salt already, so I like to control the salt levels where I can and adjust throughout the cooking time.