Gumbo is one of the many New Orleans dishes steeped in tradition. Just about every family has their own unique style, cooked a certain way with specific ingredients. Each pot tells a story or reveals a bit of family history.
Our family gumbo was my great-grandmother’s Creole Seafood Gumbo. She graciously passed that recipe on to my mom who continued the tradition of preparing the dish for specials occasions. The pot was always teeming with fresh shrimp, previously boiled crabs (for extra flavor) and briny oysters. The gumbo was thickened with a light roux and canned okra and finished with tomato sauce.
I enjoyed learning how to make our family’s Creole Seafood Gumbo, but there came a time when I needed to find my own place at the family stove. I wanted to create a pot that would contribute to our family’s gumbo tradition without competing with my great-grandmother’s recipe. So I concocted a rustically rich, dark-roux gumbo full of tender pieces of chicken and spicy andouille sausage. I fired up that first pot over 20 years ago and have been cooking up huge batches of this Cajun elixir ever since. It’s one of my many contributions to our family food heritage and is part of the natural evolution of “cooking my culture.”
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Chicken Andouille Gumbo Recipe
2-3 pound whole roasted or rotisserie chicken
1 cup canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound andouille smoked sausage, sliced into thin rounds
8 cups chicken stock
5 cups cooked rice
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix. Set aside. In a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, make a roux by heating the oil over high heat. Gradually add the flour, whisking carefully and vigorously after each addition until smooth. Continue whisking until a milk chocolate roux is achieved. Add the onions, celery and bell pepper; saute until vegetables begin to break down, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and seasoning mix; cook an additional 2 minutes. Meanwhile, place stock in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Gradually add roux mixture to the boiling stock, whisking with each addition until dissolved. Return to a boil; stir often. Reduce heat to simmer; stir in andouille and cook for 45 minutes. While the gumbo is simmering, debone the cooked chicken and shred the meat. Discard skin and bones. When the gumbo is done simmering, stir in the chicken. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve over hot cooked rice with lots of French bread and hot sauce options. Serves 8-10.