How to Make Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
How to make chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo! Gumbo is a popular dish from Louisiana and is super comforting and flavorful. This one-pot meal is not quick to make but some things are worth the wait and making gumbo from scratch is definitely one of them. Plus it tastes even better as leftovers so you are going to want to make a big pot!
What is Gumbo?
Gumbo is a comforting stew that originated in Louisiana. The base of it includes a roux which gives it a thick, toasty flavor and the holy trinity of Cajun/Creole cooking which is celery, bell pepper, and onion. There are many different variations of gumbo that can cause heated debates like okra or no okra, tomatoes or no tomatoes, and what meats/seafood should or should not go in it. The recipe I’m sharing is what my family and I like to eat which is gumbo made with a combo of chicken thighs, andouille sausage, shrimp, no okra, and no tomatoes. No matter where I go, no bowl of gumbo hits the spot quite like a bowl made from scratch at home.
How to Make a Roux
The most important part of gumbo is the roux. Roux is made with equal parts in weight of fat and flour. When you measure it out in cups, it ends up being a little more flour to fat ratio. I like to use the excess fat from searing the chicken thighs and andouille sausage because it has so much flavor in it. Then I supplement with vegetable oil. Roux can burn easily so make sure to stir it constantly. It should not be smoky. This is not a part you can step away from. It’s like an arm workout so grab a chair and get comfy. If you want to play it safe, lower the heat and cook for a longer amount of time. The roux is done once it is a chocolate color.
ROUX. The darker the roux the deeper the flavor. Dark roux can also mean burnt roux so it’s best to cook low and slow with constant stirring. If you notice smoke, turn the heat lower or remove pan from the heat for a little bit.
VEGGIES. Celery, green bell pepper, and onion make up the holy trinity. It is a non-negotiable part of gumbo. I like to add in garlic because garlic makes everything better. I don’t typically add these, but you can add okra and tomatoes at the same time you add in the holy trinity.
SEASONING. You can make a Cajun/Creole seasoning blend from scratch but my favorite to use is Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. It is a combo of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and other spices. You can use a different brand or make your own but may need to adjust the measurements listed in this recipe.
CHICKEN. My preferred cut for this recipe is chicken thighs. Rotisserie chicken would also be great for this, especially if you have some leftover that you need to get rid of.
SAUSAGE. Andouille sausage is aslo a non-negotiable for me. My favorite brands for this are Zummo’s and Beaumont Boudin Co.
SEAFOOD. I like to use shrimp to keep it simple and it’s relatively affordable. Blue crab is also a great addition. You can turn it into a true seafood gumbo by making a broth with shrimp shells.
SERVE. Top off a bowl with fresh green onions and parsley. Serve on top of white rice and hot sauce optional.
Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 link (14 oz) andouille sausage, sliced
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- ½ tbs Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Season chicken thighs with creole seasoning. Add to a large pot with oil, sear for about 7 minutes on both sides on medium heat, then set aside. Shred and cut chicken into smaller pieces.
- In the same pot, add sausage, and sear for about 5 minutes on both sides, then set aside, keeping the excess fat in the pot.
- Add oil and flour to the pot to make a roux on low to medium heat. Stir constantly for about 30 minutes until it is a chocolate brown color. Do not step away here because it can quickly burn.
- Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until softened.
- Add chicken broth, chicken, sausage, creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Simmer for at least an hour. Add shrimp during the last 5 minutes so it doesn't overcook.
- Taste test and adjust to preference.
- Serve with rice, green onions, and parsley. Hot sauce optional.