It’s something that almost every person from Louisiana can’t live without…While most people love it in the winter and colder months, we eat it year round. It’s like a cozy blanket on a chilli night, it’s our comfort food.
Normally, you can’t get a good gumbo if you travel outside of LA, in fact, there are places in North Louisiana that do not make it in a traditional way. You must ALWAYS have more “juice” than rice and it has to cover the rice, none of this “gravy” nonsense I’ve been seeing. If you see something advertised as gumbo and the picture has a scoop of rice with a little bit of gravy around it, RUN! It is not gumbo and you will be disappointed. See random photo from Google images: 😉
In south Louisiana gumbo may differ slightly from family to family but they all have one thing in common, the ROUX. The roux is the staple of a gumbo. It can literally make or break it taste wise. Roux (Rue) is made up of white flour and oil -You can use melted butter or vegetable oil. You can also buy ready made roux in a jar. These are pretty good, and a great substitute if you are short on time.
Today, I am laying out a step by step process for making chicken and sausage gumbo. You can add ingredients or take away as you see fit. If you want to make the roux and use shrimp and crab claws in place of the chicken and sausage, it will still turn out perfect. OK, let’s get started. This gumbo makes enough to feed about 6 people maybe a little more.
1 1/2 cup of white flour
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 pack of chicken legs (6 count)
1 pack of deer/pork sausage
1 small onion
1 pack of green onions (use half)
1 bell pepper
* optional 1 stalk of celery and minced garlic.
Garlic salt, Tony Chacheres, Black pepper, Garlic Powder, Salt, slap ya mama seasoning, dash of paprika, onion powder and Louisiana red hot for the chicken.
1 large pot and rice maker.
1. Cut up your sausage into small pieces about 1/2″ thick.
2. Take your chicken out and season it with all of the seasonings, let it set and take all of that in while you finish prepping. If you want a less greasy gumbo, you can remove the skin from the legs. The skin actually gives it a better flavor so we leave ours on.
3. Next we need to go ahead and cut up our onions, green onions and bell pepper and minced or fresh garlic cloves. Some people like to add celery here. I couldn’t this time because someone in my family cannot eat it. Either way, they make great additions if you choose to add them.
*tip: if you cut the onion in half and leave the ends, it will keep your eyes from watering. 😁
If you cut up the onion like this before you cut it, it will make small chunks easily!
Tip#2: Tired of buying green onions? Plant the remnants of the stalks in dirt OR take a wet paper towel and wrap it around the bottoms and stick it in a cup of water by the window. You will be growing green onions in NO TIME!
4. Here is where the fun begins. After all of your prepping is done let’s get started with the roux. Get your pot and Grab you 1 1/2 cups of flour. (1 cup shown below) Pour it into your pot.
Next get your 1 cup of oil or melted butter.
Now add your oil to your flour.
OK now you will need to dedicate the next 20-30 minutes to be in front of your stove. Making roux is almost like making candy, it requires constant stirring and attention. Set your heat to a high temperature at first.
Your mixture will be real greasy and fluid right now. Start stirring and stir in circles until it starts to bubble.
The roux will start off a light cream color, we are going to stir it until it is very dark brown.
Once it starts bubbling let’s turn your heat down to around 5-6.
Your Rue should be starting to darken. Depending on your heat, there is no “set time” to make a roux. You will know it’s ready by the color. You want dark dark brown. Smoke my fill your house, this Is normal. Cut on your fan above your stove to eliminate it.
Keep stirring…..tired yet?
I apologize for my videoing skills lol
OK last one!
I throw in my cut up veggies and stir them into my roux for about a minute or 2. Once it is at this stage you need to add your water ASAP because it will start to burn if you don’t. I’ve messed up my first couple of times making roux and accidently burnt it before I added my water, if you do, it’s ok, practice makes perfect. You can take your pot and move it to a cold burner if you like while you add your water. Here is the key, I’ve never measured out my water, the rule of thumb is to fill your pot about 3/4 full. If it’s less, your juice will be thicker, if it’s more your juice will be thinner(this is all personal preference). I always take my pot off the stove to the sink and fill it up from there. BEWARE!!! When you add your water it will let off a crazy amount of steam, do NOT stand directly over your pot or it will burn you!
Now I like to set my temperature back on high for a little bit to let this mixture start to boil.
The top will look kind of frothy at first but that’s ok. Keep boiling and now add your chicken and sausage.
OK now we will cook on about 5-6 heat level for around 45 mins. Watch this at times because sometimes it will want to boil over. If you see it is wanting to boil over, cut your heat down. Around 20 minutes into boiling, taste test your juice and add your Tony’s and Salt as needed to your desired seasoning taste level. Go ahead and make your rice.
Cooking away!!! Almost done!
My gumbo is now complete and ready to be served. All you need to do now is add your rice in your bowl and pour your gumbo on top! C’est bon sha!
Potato salad is normally served with gumbo. Most people prefer to add it right into the side of the bowl and eat it with the gumbo.
I hope you enjoyed my recipe and tutorial on making traditional Louisiana gumbo! If you have any questions feel free to let me know. I would love for you to follow me and share my recipe if you like it! I will be posting more Cajun recipes soon.
Peace, Love and Blessings,
Lesley -The Cajun Hippie Mama