Thursday, February 15, 2024

Classic Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe (with Plant-Based Alternatives)

It's Mardi Gras season y'all and no Fat Tuesday would be complete without a delicious Classic Gumbo Recipe.

Full disclosure.  I have never been to New Orleans, but I have a few friends from there, who taught me the ways of their ancestors and helped me to perfect my West Virginia version of this recipe.  It's absolutely delicious and for those of you (like me) who are living the plant life these days I have included some plant-based alternatives as well.  I know you're gonna love this one so let's get started! 


  • 1 lb. of smoked sausage, cut in quarters (or your favorite plant-based alternative)
  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, diced (or 2 cups soy curls rehydrated)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 stalks of Celery
  • 2 c. Frozen, Chopped Okra (Or fresh, if available)
  • 6 c. Chicken Stock (vegetable stock or a no-chicken base)
  • 1/4 c. Worcestershire Sauce (make sure it's vegan friendly)
  • 1 c. Canola Oil
  • 1 c. Flour
  • 1 tbsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning

Making the perfect gumbo is all about timing.  Once you begin the roux, you have to tend to it.  Turn your head for a second, and it could burn. You don't want that because it would ruin your gumbo and you would have have to start all over.  That is why I always pre measure, cut, and prep EVERYTHING ahead of time.  I have it all neatly laid out in prep-bowls or ramekins, in the order that I will need them.  That way it's just a matter of grab and dump. 

Before you begin the roux, get your Dutch Oven hot. 
While it is heating, season the chicken with a little Cajun seasoning, making sure everything is coated.

Add the seasoned chicken to your hot Dutch oven and cook, about 4-5 minutes until fully cooked.  You are looking for an internal temp of 165 degrees F.

Remove the cooked chicken from Dutch oven and put in a bowl.  You can set it aside for later. 

Now it is time for the roux.  

A roux is the backbone of a great gumbo.  

While I 100% think everyone should try and make their own at least once in their life, Tony Chachere's makes an instant roux that is done super fast and tastes pretty authentic.  

Okay, time to get started on the roux.

Add the oil to the Dutch oven and let it get SMOKING HOT!

Once oil is hot, drop your flame to a medium heat and add your flour.

Begin whisking IMMEDIATELY! 
This entire process can take 10 to 30 minutes so be patient. 

As you can see, your roux will begin to change colors as it cooks. 
You are building that flavor base for your gumbo!

Your roux is ready when it has thickened and is a milk chocolate color. 

You can do this on a lower heat for 30 minutes and get what is called a black roux.  This will give you the BEST flavor in your gumbo, but I will be honest.  I wasn't patient enough for that.  *lol*

When the roux is ready, you are going to add your holy trinity. 

In gumbo talk that is the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and celery.

Stir continuously until onions are translucent and your vegetables have softened.

Next add the smoked sausage.

Allow that to cook for a couple of minutes as well.

Now add the Worcestershire sauce to the pot along with the...

Now it's time to add the chicken broth. 

Stir well, allowing that roux to dissolve into your broth and the soup to thicken. 

When the gumbo has thickened return the chicken to the pot. 

After that, add the seasonings to the pot. 

You will notice that I have not added any salt or pepper.  Here is why.  I used chicken bouillon to make my broth and that can be rather salty on it's own.  Also, the Cajun seasoning packs a little spice punch, so I just don't see the need for more pepper, but as always, the amount of seasoning you add is up to your palette. 

Now we are going to bring this to a rolling boil...

Put a lid on your Dutch oven, but not quite all the way, and let that go
for about 10 minutes.  This will allow all those great flavors to come together.

After 10 minutes to add our okra. 

I know using frozen okra is a little controversial because people think it's smily, but I find that if you cook it long enough it is not slimy at all.   

Simmer the gumbo for 45 minutes and you are ready to eat! 

Serve this over a bowl of rice and you are good to go!
See, you thought that was going to be hard!  I knew you could do it! 
Enjoy this Mardi Gras delight and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~


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