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 Gumbo file‘. 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:)
- Step 2. Veggie Chop! (Onions, celery, garlic, homegrown green bell, habanero, jalapeno peppers)
Gumbo Roux and Seasoning Mix
- Step 3. Roux mix, this is very, very important!
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Serve with this southern skillet cornbread, white or brown rice, parsley, chopped green onions, more file’, Tabasco, or this Truff Hot Sauce! On Oprah’s 2019 Favorite Things List!!
Hope you’ve made enough for leftovers…cause it’s always better the next day!
P.S. This yummy dish is perfect to make on a cloudy, fall weekend day. It takes time but is well worth the effort!
Chicken, Sausage, Shrimp Gumbo
- 2 cups chopped while or yellow onion more or less to taste
- 4 stalks celery trimmed and de-stringed
- 4 cloves garlic - chopped fine more to taste
- 1 jalapeno chopped, optional
- 1 habanero chopped, optional
- 1 large green bell pepper any color
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup flour can use gluten free
- 1 tbls creole seasoning more or less to taste
- 1 tbls garlic powder or salt more or less to taste
- 2 tsp ground pepper more or less to taste
- 1 tbls thyme leaves fresh or jarred
- 2 32 oz chicken broth more if to thick
- 1.5 tbls gumbo file' more or less to taste
- 4 whole bay leaves
- fresh rosemary leaves optional
- 1 link sausage any kind of rope sausage
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken deboned, chopped
- 1 pound shrimp fresh, deviened, shelled
- 1 tbls Tabasco or Franks Hot Sauce more or less to taste
- Chop all veggies and set aside.
- Add flour and oil to a large dutch oven. Stir constantly over low medium heat, making sure mixture is smooth and lump free. Cook until color is medium to dark rich coco color. Be sure not to burn!
- Add seasonings, thyme (except file') to roux and stir in. Add veggies and stir to coat with roux.
- Add broth, bay leaves, a few rosemary leaves (optional), and file'. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Add chicken and sausage. Simmer another 20 minutes with lid on.
- Add shrimp and simmer with lid on for another 10 minutes. Make sure shrimp is pink and done.
- Turn off heat. Add additional seasoning if necessary. Add hot sauce to taste.
- Serve with rice, chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh green onion, sprinkled file', and hot sauce to taste.