Get a taste of New Orleans cuisine at home with this savory and delicious chicken andouille sausage gumbo! Smoky sausage, okra, and aromatic vegetables make this an authentic recipe perfect for sharing.
New Orleans is a melting pot of extravagant culture, abundant energy, live music and it’s Creole cuisine. I traveled there a few years back for work, and I didn’t know it at the time, but when I had my first taste of delicious gumbo, I was hooked! It immediately became my favorite dish from Louisiana.
A few days ago, my father-in-law handed me an amazing gift, a 15-year-old cookbook from his visit to the Crescent City! I quickly skimmed through it and found numerous recipes from some of the best restaurants at the time, like Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s. When I came across chicken Andouille sausage gumbo, I knew I had to give it a try and share with you the delicious results.
How to make gumbo
- Simmer chicken in water until fully cooked.
- Shred chicken into small pieces.
- Simmer okra until tender, drain, and reserve.
- Make a roux by whisking butter and flour.
- Saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
- Add in okra, tomatoes, and sausage.
- Simmer herbs, cayenne, salt, pepper, and water.
- Add chicken.
- Turn off heat and stir in filé powder.
How do you thicken gumbo with a roux?
For this recipe, a dark brown roux is made with butter and flour to give richness and a deep toasted flavor. Roux is a classic French technique used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and sauces. The roux is a mixture of equal parts fat (animal or vegetable) and flour.
There are different types of roux-based on color as it cooks; white, blond, brown and dark brown. A general rule of thumb is the lighter the roux, the higher the thickening power, but the least amount of flavor.
What is the holy trinity in Creole and Cajun cooking?
It’s a combination of bell peppers, celery, and onion. It’s a Lousiana inspired mirepoix and it adds beautiful aromatics, color, and flavor to the gumbo. Depending on the dish, various ratios and amounts are used.
What makes gumbo unique compared to other soups?
A dark roux base combined with other thickening ingredients like okra (use pre-cut frozen okra if fresh is not available) and Zatarain’s gumbo file provides the characteristic gumbo taste. Adding in dried thyme, basil, bay leaf, basil, cayenne pepper, and smoky Aidells Cajun andouille sausage gives it layers of flavor and a spicy kick that is distinctive in Creole cooking.
Are gumbo and jambalaya the same thing?
No, gumbo is a hearty soup or stew inspired by the French bouillabaisse and named after the West African word for okra “guingombo.” It can be thickened with a dark roux, okra, or file powder, or a combination. Rice is served on the side with gumbo. Jambalaya is rooted in Spanish influence from paella, it’s a rice-based dish simmered with various vegetables, meats, and seafood.
Regional styles or variations
In different parts of Lousiana, the style of gumbo can differ. The southeastern region can be seafood based with tomatoes. While the southwestern area can be meat-based with chicken or andouille sausage and thickened only with a roux. Also, some folks just serve the gumbo file on the table instead of cooking with it.
What do you serve with gumbo?
I always make some fluffy steamed white rice to serve with the stew to make it a full meal. Whipping up some freshly baked cornbread muffins is another tasty option.
It’s hard to resist not gobbling up the whole pot, but trust me, the taste gets even better with leftovers the next day. Make sure that when you’re cooking this, turn on some New Orleans Jazz and “let the good times roll (laissez les bon temps rouler)” in the kitchen!
More Soup recipes
What is Gumbo File Powder?
You will see this unique ingredient in many gumbo recipes from Louisiana. File powder is sassafras leaves that have been dried and ground into a fine powder. It is used to thicken gumbo just before serving.
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Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo
- 2 pounds chicken, boneless skinless breast and thigh recommended
- 2 quarts water
- 1 pound okra, 1-inch slices (cut and frozen if fresh is not available)
- ½ cup water, to cook the okra
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups yellow onion, ¼-inch dice
- 1 ½ cups bell pepper, ¼-inch dice, green and red
- ⅓ cup celery, ¼-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced canned tomatoes
- 12 ounces Andouille sausage, cooked, sliced
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- 1 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1 teaspoon basil, dried
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or chili pepper (use less for lower spiciness)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon gumbo file, Zatarain's
- In a medium-sized pot, add chicken breast and thighs and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring water to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Strain water and reserve.
- Remove cooked chicken from the pot, allow it to cool then shred into small pieces. Cover and set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add okra and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 7-9 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer okra to a colander, drain, then reserve.
- In a large pot, combine ½ cup unsalted butter and ½ cup flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk to make a dark brown roux, about 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes make sure to continuously stir so the roux does not burn.
- Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add cooked okra, tomatoes, and sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
- Add 4 cups of the reserved water (from step 2), mix well. You may add more water depending on how thick you want the gumbo.
- Simmer over medium-low heat, for approximately 30 minutes with pot loosely covered, stirring occasionally.
- Add cooked shredded chicken and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat, and slowly stir in the gumbo file. Do not reboil after adding as this tends to make the gumbo stringy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve over steamed rice.
- Recipe Source: “Favorite Recipes from Famous New Orleans Restaurants”, by Express Publishing Co. (1981)
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