Viewing entries in

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and sausage Gumbo* Stock ingredients:

1 whole chicken (I usually get a 3 -4 lbs chicken)

1 yellow onion sliced in half

2 or 3 stalks of celery (I just break them in half and throw them in)

2 or 3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Gumbo ingredients:

Trinity: (plus garlic)

1 medium bell pepper diced

1 medium onion diced

3 stalks of celery diced

2 or 3 cloves of garlic minced

1lb okra sliced  (I usually use frozen okra which comes pre-sliced. If you are using fresh okra slice it into ½ inch pieces

1lb sausage or andouille Cut into ½ inch pieces (I’m partial to the Conecuh brand of smoked sausage. It is a spicy smoked sausage. Use a sausage that has some spice to it. Not Italian sausage.)

1 can whole kernel corn drained

Roux ingredients:

1/2c AP flour (do not use self rising flour. A roux will not thicken with self rising flour.)

1/2c vegetable oil

Herbs und spices:

1t thyme

1t coriander

1 – 2t Cajun seasoning (I’m partial to Tony Chacheres’ brand Cajun seasoning)

Salt and pepper


I do not use a specific amount of water. I have a large stock pot that I put enough water in to cover the chicken and seasonings. I boil the stock until the chicken is completely cooked. I think the pot holds about 8 quarts but I only fill it about 2/3s full.

Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool. De-bone and shred the chicken and set aside. Remove the onions, celery, and bay leaves from the stock.

Set stock to the side.

While the stock is cooking dice up all the seasonings.

Once the seasonings are diced stock is finished begin the roux.

Making the roux:

A roux is nothing more than fat and flour, but a roux for gumbo is something special. Purists believe a gumbo roux must be made in a cast iron skillet. I do not have a preference for cast iron versus a different pot/pan to create a roux.

Put flour and oil into your pan. Make sure the pan is dry. There shouldn’t be any water or condensation in the pan. Turn the burner to medium/low heat. Start combining the flour and oil.

You cannot ignore a roux. You must stand over it and keep stirring it. The roux will begin to dark. Do not let it stick and do not let it burn. If it burns you must start over.

Keep stirring. It will continue to dark. The rule of thumb is the roux must reach the color of a new penny. That is the rule my grandmother told me. Many people do darken the roux a bit more. That is totally acceptable, but be careful not to burn it.

Once the roux has reached the ideal color add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Let those cook down a bit. Keep stirring. Do not add the garlic yet. It could burn and you don’t want that burnt garlic flavor.

In Cajun/creole cooking, the trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery) is treated as seasoning. They are cooked down to nothing pretty much. You should not see chunks of trinity in the finished product.

I cook my roux in my large “gumbo pot” so I can combine everything into one pot and not have to transfer ingredients much or dirty too many dishes.

When the seasonings begin to break down add the garlic.

Begin adding in the chicken stock.  This will cause it to produce lots of steam so be careful. It will be very hot.

Keep stirring and adding stock so it will not clump up. Once all the stock has been added into the roux add in the chicken and sausage.

Add the herbs and spices

Allow the gumbo to come to a boil then turn down to low heat.

Add the can of corn (drained)

Add okra. The okra acts as a thickener. It should be added toward the end or else it will completely fall apart and the gumbo will look less than desirable. Trust me on that.

(When it is done you may want to skim some of the oil off of the top.  You really need the oil for the roux but at the end it may be necessary to remove as much of the oil that has collected on the top as possible.)

Serve over rice.

Some people add gumbo file into each serving of gumbo has been served. Feel free to do so. Do not add the file to the pot of gumbo.

*I think a gumbo can easily be made vegan. A veggie stock can replace the chicken stock. Quorn chicken cutlets can be diced and brown in a pan before adding to the gumbo. There are also good vegan sausage replacements. Brown those as well and remove from pan. Add the vegan chicken and sausage toward the end so it will not totally break down during the cooking process.

Also there are some wonderful recipes online of Green Gumbo (gumbo z’herbes) which incorporates collard greens, turnip greens, kale etc.



1lb sausage* (I prefer Conecuh Brand sausage. It has a good bit of spice to it.)

1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs*

2c white long grain rice



1 medium onion

1 medium bell pepper

3 stalks celery

3 or 4 cloves of garlic


1tsp thyme

½tsp coriander

2 bay leaves

1tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning or whatever Cajun seasoning you prefer

Salt and pepper to taste



Cut chicken into small cubes and sausage into short segments. Dice onion, bell pepper, celery into small pieces. Mince the garlic (please don’t use the nasty jarred garlic). Veggies should be diced into small pieces so that they cook down in the pan. Onion, bell pepper and celery are referred to as The Trinity. Garlic is pretty much considered part of the The Trinity as well.

Put olive oil in pot and put on medium heat. Put sausage and chicken in and cook until browned. Stir regularly. Make sure the meats are well browned before adding veggies.  Add veggies. Keep stirring. Add spices. Veggies should cook down for a while. The final product should not have large chunks of veggies. Trinity is viewed as a ‘seasoning’ so it should be cooked until it breaks down into smaller bits.  This will take a while. Trust me it’s worth it. If you rush this, you may end up with a dish you enjoy but the depth of flavors may not be there.

Rinse the rice well. Rinse until the water becomes clear. Drain well.

Add rice to the pot and stir well.

Add 3 ¾ cups water. (Play around with this. There are usually already liquid from the veggies so adding the normal 2:1 ratio of water:rice can be excessive)

Stir to make sure the ingredients are covered by the water. You don’t want any clumps of rice lingering above the water line.

Bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to a simmer.


This part doesn’t take that long. The rice will absorb the water. Check it after about 8 or 9 minutes. Nobody likes overcooked rice.


*You can make a vegetarian version. Quorn makes wonderful faux chicken breasts that can be used in place of chicken. Also there are faux sausages. Pick one that has a bit of spice to it.

When I’ve cooked veggie sausage in the past it can fall apart if it is cooked in a dish (especially if it’s in a liquid: soup, beans etc), so brown it and remove it from the pan then place it in the pot when you bring it to a simmer.  You could also try browning mushrooms and adding those back in later.

Conecuh Sausage is a brand of sausage from Alabama primarily sold in the South, but I just checked out their website and it is now available in the Midwest.

Red Beans and Rice

I decided that I need to make regular posts on my blog. I don't always have the most interesting things to say about music or many other things but I decided I would start sharing things that I enjoy.  Today i'm sharing my red beans and rice recipe. Red Beans

Soak red beans overnight.  (I prefer the Camellia brand of red beans, it's probably a regional brand, not sure.)
Drain and rinse the beans.
Trinity (celery, bell pepper, onion and Trinity almost always includes garlic even though that makes it four ingredients instead of three. but oh well, its good.)
2 or 3 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium bell pepper diced
1 medium onioin diced
about 3 cloves of garlic
{sometimes I add a ham hock or sausage. If you are in the south get Conecuh hickory smoked sausage. It's the absolute best. Add the ham hock or sausage at the beginning when you add everything else.}
Herbs und spices:
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp thyme
2 or 3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
I also use a cajun seasoning called Tony Chachere's (pronounced sash-er-ees). It's the best. a teaspoon at least.
If you dont have a cajun seasoning substitute a little red pepper to add heat.
once the beans are rinsed i throw them in the pot. everything can go in at the begining.
put in enough water to cover the beans by about an inch.
add all of your herbs and spices.
bring it to a boil
then turn it down to a low heat and let it simmer for a about an hour or half or so
be sure to stir it regularly so it doesnt stick and burn
cajun red beans should start to loose their shape and it should have an almost creamy consistency when they are done.
add fresh chopped parsley at the end of cooking.
serve over rice.

and you gotta have cornbread to go with red beans and rice.