Making this Chicken Sausage Shrimp Gumbo recipe is a labor of pure, southern Love! Southerners were born and raised eating Gumbo, Chicken & Dumplings, Fried Okra, Chicken Pot Pie, and Fried Green Tomatoes! It’s the crown of comfort food and the “soul” of all southern kitchens.
Excerpts from a conversation with our homesick college kid…
Me – “So what would you like for dinner when you get home?”
Mitch – “Gumbo”
Me – heavy sigh…”Gumbo AGAINNNN?”
Mitch – “Yes, Pleasssssseeeee, but teach me how to make it, I want to learn from the best…Mom”
Me – “What? Really? Alright!!” there is a God!
Hallelujah! My kid wants to learn how to cook! Glory Be!!
Gumbo is one of those dishes that has a million versions because it truly is the crown jewel of the South.
There are all types of gumbo.
You’ve got your thick stew gumbo with heavy flour-based broth. A thin broth version of a rich, dark brown color. Okra and tomatoes or no okra and tomatoes. Any and all varieties of seafood, veggies, meat; shrimp, sausage, chicken, deer, alligator, rabbit, turtle, frog legs… you name it, it’s all considered Gumbo.
In this family, we are more or less traditional Gumbo fans. We prefer thin, dark, rich brown broth with chicken, sausage, shrimp, onions, celery, red and green pepper, a few jalapenos, and occasionally some homegrown okra thrown in.
The difference between Gumbo and regular soup is the addition of File’. File ‘, also called Gumbofile‘. It’s a spice made from dried, ground sassafras leaves. This can either be added while cooking or used as a sprinkled on condiment or both.
One thing for sure, if you don’t include the file’ somewhere in this dish you’re just going to end up with regular meat and veggie soup.
Basic Gumbo Cooking 101
Step 1. First, you start out with a cute cook:) This step is optional but highly advised, LOL!
(Like my kitchen cabinets? I’m in the process of single handedly tearing my kitchen out! Perks of being married to a busy contractor:)
You want your roux to be anywhere between a medium coco color and a medium coffee color. The darker the better but be careful not to burn it! There is nothing worse than burnt tasting broth!
Medium to dark brown coco color is ideal!
Step 4. Veggie mix, roux & seasoning. Now add your veggies, seasonings (reserving the file’ and bay leaves) and coat them with the roux. Make sure to keep stirring until the veggies are soft because if you stop the roux will burn on the veggies.
Step 5. Add 2 cartons of broth and file’, reserving the 3rd just in case the broth gets too thick.
Step 6. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat; simmer for at least an hour.
Step 7. Sit back and relax! Drink a beer and watch a little college football. Go horns \../!
Step 8. After your break, start cutting the meat. We used about one link of peppered rope sausage, one whole rotisserie chicken, home grilled the day before, and one pound of raw shrimp. Add the chopped sausage and chicken and let simmer for about 20 mins.
Fresh Gulf Shrimp, home rotisserie chicken, and pepper sausage for the win!
Step 9. Taste for extra seasoning and adjust. Remember to blow on the broth before you attempt to taste it! After the seasonings have been adjusted to your taste buds; add the shrimp and cover. Make sure the burner is turned down low.
Blow on that broth before you taste!
Step 10. Almost done! After the 10 minutes is up, turn off the burner and let sit for about 10 more.
Gumbo is Done!
Whew, the Gumbo is done! Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the goodness and watch the end of the football game.