Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

3 lb Chicken breasts, split in – Half and boned (or about 1 lb regular chicken breasts) or use chicken thighs if you like dark meat
Salt to season chicken
Pepper to season chicken
Garlic powder to season chicken
1 lb Smoked sausage or kielbasa (use turkey sausage for healthier version) sliced bite-size
1/2 c Canola oil
1/2 c All-purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 c Chopped celery (4 ribs)
7 c Water divided
4 cloves Chopped garlic (or more if desired)
1/8 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
White rice

1.) Season chicken breasts lightly with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. If possible, do this the day before you cook the gumbo. I usually do this at the last minute.
2.) Chop up the onions, green bell pepper, & celery.
3.) Make roux, using a huge pot. Place oil in skillet over medium heat – oil should be at stage where it just begins to smoke – and gradually stir in flour, using a long-handled spoon. Roux will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook and must be stirred constantly so that it does not burn. If you see black specks in the roux, it has burned and you must start over again. As you make the roux, it will change in color from cream to tan to brown and then to dark red-brown. Remove from heat.
4.) Stir in onions, green peppers and celery, stirring constantly until roux stops getting darker. Bring to stove once more, and cook over low heat about five to seven minutes, stirring constantly.
5.) Pour in 6 c of water & add chicken & bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the roux. Immediately after starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use plate to weight the chicken so that it is not above the water. Remove chicken, and set aside to cool. De bone chicken, and cut into bite-size pieces.
6.) Add sausage, 1 c water, and all the seasonings to the pot, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. Taste, and add salt, if necessary.
7.) Stir in the chicken, and remove the gumbo from the heat. Skim surface to remove fat that sausage gives off during cooking (won’t need to do this if using turkey sausage). Serve over rice.

Note: You could add okra to this, but I find that it sometimes gets slimy.  I read that you are supposed to cook the slime off the okra before putting it in.  I just leave it out though because I like it either way.  

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