Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

This Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo is easy and authentic as can be and not nearly as complicated as you may think to make at home. Only slightly spicy and even a little healthy. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

A chipped white bowl filled with Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo and a scoop of rice with a spoon resting in it.

The real deal. That’s what folks are saying about this Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo. As with most things made in a large pot, if you make it and serve it straightaway, it’ll be swell, but if you can wait a day or so, you’ll find that a little resting time allows it to “meander from tasty to operatically magnificent,” as author Nancie McDermott says so elegantly.–Renee Schettler

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 2 H
  • 2 H, 45 M
  • Serves 10 to 12
4.8/5 - 6 reviews
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In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, preferably cast-iron or enamel cast-iron, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. When a pinch of flour sprinkled on the oil immediately blooms on the surface of the oil, scatter in the rest of the flour and quickly stir, thoroughly combining the oil and flour into a thick, smooth roux.

Continue cooking the roux, stirring often, as it turns from pale yellow to a rich, deep brown, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the roux slowly darkening without bubbling or burning. This can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your pot and your stove. The finished roux should be darker than peanut butter and about the color of coffee with a little cream.

Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper to the roux and stir well to coat them. Let them cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant, softened, shiny, and evenly coated with the roux, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne and stir well and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the stock, stir well, and bring it to a lively boil, stirring often to dissolve the roux into the stock. When everything is boiling nicely, add the chicken. When the stock returns to a rolling boil, adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring now and then, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, chop the andouille into bite-size pieces, first halving each andouille link lengthwise and then cutting it crosswise into half-moon slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken from the pot to a platter and let it cool. When you can handle it, pull the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Coarsely tear or chop the chicken and then return it to the pot along with the andouille.

Cook the gumbo, stirring now and then, until the sausage has softened and everything has come together into a rich, flavorful, slightly thickened stew, about 30 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat. (You can cool, cover, and refrigerate the gumbo for up to 2 days to allow the flavors to meld. Skim any fat from the surface of the gumbo and discard. Warm the gumbo over low heat prior to continuing.)

Stir in the scallions and parsley. Serve the gumbo in bowls over rice or with rice on the side, garnished with more scallions. Originally published September 30, 2015.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I followed this Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo recipe to the letter and it turned out unbelievably great. The smell in the house as this was cooking was out of this world! I made this, let it rest in the refrigerator for a day, and enjoyed it with the suggested rice. This is a recipe that is worth the effort…your family will think you are AMAZING! Definitely will have this again and again.

The paprika I used was hot, not sweet. I used store-bought chicken stock, and it seemed to be just fine. The roux did not take long (15 minutes tops) to reach a "coffee with creamer" brown. I had to adjust the heat quite often so it wouldn't smoke but no problems at all on the browning of the roux. The chicken actually took a little over an hour, just because I like it fall-off-the-bone tender.

This is a straightforward, real deal Cajun gumbo that everyone loved. The kids ate leftover gumbo for 2 days afterwards. It really kept getting better.

I like that the author labels this Cajun-style as opposed to Creole. Creole cooking is lighter, probably more refined, and possibly might include tomato. This one is a hearty stew that is rustic and utterly delicious.

The most time-consuming step is making the roux. It took an hour or so for me to get it to deep brown without burning it. Be careful with the hot roux, it burns like crazy so don't splatter it around. The cooking time can actually be mitigated in a couple of ways. It could be done way ahead of time and left in the pot with the heat off once it reaches the appropriate color. Just bring it back to temperature of "scalding hot" before proceeding. Another method that I use almost exclusively for making roux is the Alton Brown oven method. Just mix the fat and flour and put the uncovered pot in the oven set to 350°F. It takes about 2 hours for it to get to the almost dark brown stage and requires no constant stirring. Just give it a stir maybe every 30 minutes. This frees you up to get everything else prepared and have a couple beers, too.

I wanted to cut on the level of spiciness in the gumbo for my kiddos, so I used sweet paprika and subbed hot paprika for the cayenne. I added healthy doses of Tabasco to my bowl, though. When the raw chicken is added, make sure to skim all the usual gunk that comes to the surface. The chicken was ready in about an hour since I used the thighs and legs from a large free-range chicken. Smaller hens may take less time.


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  1. Though I haven’t made this recipe (I’m born and raised in New Orleans so we can make a gumbo in our sleep), I have a couple of suggestions people might like. First, if you don’t have bacon grease — every good Southern girl has a canning jar of bacon grease in her fridge — use vegetable oil instead of olive oil. If making the roux is too much trouble or scares you, make it in the microwave. Stir oil and flour in large Pyrex bowl (2 quart size is perfect), and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Using potholder, remove roux and stir well, nuking for 30 seconds before removing again to stir. Continue this until the roux is the color of a copper penny. When making a large amount of roux such as 1 cup oil to 1 cup flour, you may be able to get away with stirring every 60 seconds to start. Once roux starts to develop color, go back to stirring every 30 seconds. Trust me on this: NO ONE will be able to tell your roux was made in a microwave as the texture is the same, it acts the same and the resulting flavor (and thickness) is the same. You will also save some energy by not making it in the oven as suggested above, as running an oven for two hours at 350 degrees can sure heat up the place. For better flavor, definitely brown your chicken pieces in a small amount of oil prior to adding them to the gumbo. The nice sear not only helps develop flavor in your gumbo, but also allows you to get some of the fat/grease out of the chicken, hence out of your gumbo. There’s no need to flour the chicken prior to browning but just make sure your chicken pieces have been dried with paper towels first as this will help it brown faster. I also recommend browning the andouille prior to putting it in your gumbo. Bone-in chicken pieces are a must, as the bones do add flavor to your gumbo. We love dark meat around here but usually also cut a couple of bone-in chicken breasts in half to use in the gumbo. No need to remove breasts earlier than the thighs as the breast meat retains its moisture being cooked in the vegetable/stock mixture. My Louisiana-born mom always said that her older relatives said it wasn’t a gumbo unless you used three “meats”! Want to take the flavor of this gumbo to the next level? Add a dozen or more oysters — if they sell freshly shucked oysters near you, a pint of oysters would be perfect. Don’t like the idea of eating an oyster that isn’t fried? Then you can just use the oyster “liquor,” which is the oysters juice the oysters sit in when sold freshly shucked. You would add the oysters at the very end and only cook for about 5 minutes — just until the edges of an oyster get curly and look like a ruffle. Enjoy your gumbo, people!

    1. I’m a yank but I work with a lot of folks from Louisania, and believe their cooking is second to none anywhere in the world I’ve visited. It is so hard to find authentic Cajun recipes as an outsider, I think in part because no Cajun I know measures ingredients, and also because most learn through family recipes and experience. I appreciate the insights, while I’m not adding oysters, I am adding 2 lbs of gulf shrimp.. and I will brown my andouille first which I didn’t think to do. As for chicken, I bought a grocery store pre cooked whole chicken and plan to shred it into the gumbo, is that a bad shortcut?

  2. I’m from SE Louisiana, and this is almost how I make my chicken and andouille gumbo, which is great! The only thing I see that’s missing is filé. It’s so worth ordering real andouille from Laplace, LA. You can probably get a jar of filé from there, too. Then you’ll be set for the whole gumbo season.

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