Chicken Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo – rich, flavorful gumbo bursting with authentic flavors and loaded with chicken, shrimp, crab legs and sausage. Everything you want in comfort food is right here. A dish like no other!
I simply love GUMBO! If you aren’t familiar with African cuisine, this gumbo could make a good reference as is just blends right in with the food that I’ve known for my whole life – spicy, substantial, well-seasoned and full of amazing ingredients! I have got to say the combination of flavor is right on point! Now how could anyone not want to make this?
What is Gumbo?
Louisiana is no doubt popular with its vibrant culture, most especially with its Creole and Cajun cuisine. It would take more than just a few sentences to describe the difference between the two, unless you’re willing to sit down and talk it over some bottles of beer or cups of coffee. (You may read this Creole vs Cajun Food).
But I’m here to talk about this gumbo recipe here.
Gumbo is a thick stew-like soup that features various kind of meat (like chicken, sausages and seafood), okra and Creole and Cajun seasonings. But even up to this day, its core ingredients, method of preparation and even its origin is STILL WIDELY DISPUTED. Although, historians would generally agree that with the thickeners commonly use in many gumbo recipes (okra, gumbo file and gumbo roux) it could all be traced back to its Choctaw Native American, French and West African roots (so that explains!).
Some parts of Louisiana have it seafood-based with tomatoes, while the southwestern area have it meat-based thickened only with roux. Other uses okra, and some use gumbo file. So once and for all, there is NO right or wrong in preparing this complex dish!
Gumbo vs. Jambalaya
While gumbo could be described in various ways, you can somehow easily distinguish what’s the difference between a gumbo and a jambalaya. Gumbo is more like of a rich, flavorful stew or soup spooned over rice while jambalaya is a rice-based dish similar to that of Spanish paella or biryani. The rice is typically cooked with proteins like chicken and sausages along with the stock and other seasonings.
Don’t let the ingredients list scare you. Making gumbo is simple and is no more complicated than making stew. After you get past the stirring (making the roux) everything else is a breeze. Below are the main components for this gumbo recipe:
For this recipe, I use skinless chicken thighs, smoked sausages, crab legs and peeled and deveined shrimp.
The base for this Southern recipe is the “Holy Trinity” which is a combination of celery, onions and bell pepper. All are sautéed until fragrant to give off that wonderful aroma.
A roux is derived from French cooking, although gumbo roux is much darker than the mildly toasted roux used in French cuisine. To make a gumbo roux, flour is toasted in fat such as butter or oil, depending on the color of roux you’re going for. Darker roux uses oil to achieve that chocolate-colored or close to burnt color (which I will talk about more below).
Creole Cajun Seasoning
No gumbo would be truly complete without a favorite of ours Creole Cajun Seasoning. This homemade version is salt-free unlike all the other store-bought ones. It has the base for a Cajun seasoning and goes a bit further Creole’s complex mix of herbs and spices. You’ll be surprised how this spice blend can elevate even the most boring dish!
Most recipes call for okra as a thickener, but I intentionally omitted it and replaced it with a gumbo file (powdered leaves of the sassafras tree) instead. This serves both as a thickener and adds a distinct flavor to the dish.
What is Gumbo File?
Gumbo file, or also called as file powder, is a powder made from crushed leaves of the Sassafras which is a native to the Southeastern U.S. This is used as a thickener and flavoring in soups and stews. It should be added to gumbo off the heat, just before serving, along with some of your favorite garnishing like green onions or parsley.
You can buy this powder in most supermarkets and specialty stores. Or you can purchase them through online HERE.
How to Make Roux for Gumbo
A “roux” is basically equal parts of oil and flour, stirred together to eliminate the floury taste. With gumbo, the stirring is prolonged to achieve a chocolate color to intensify the flavor the stew. When making the roux, try not to walk away or else it might burn. In the beginning, it will look like frosting but after about approximately 22-25 minutes of constant stirring the mixture will become a little more like gravy.
Can You Freeze Chicken and Sausage Gumbo?
What I love even more with gumbo is that it taste even great the following day! You can store whatever is left in an airtight container and into the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 4-6 months. And just gently reheat it on the stovetop when ready to serve.
What to Serve with Chicken and Sausage Gumbo?
Gumbo is most often paired with it’s time honored maid – rice. So have some white rice to go with this, or with this Skillet Cornbread or these Cornbread Muffins. This classic Southern Dirty Rice would also make a fantastic pair for this chicken gumbo
If you want to include okra in your gumbo then give this other gumbo a try.
More Southern Comfort Food
- Cajun Shrimp and Grits
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Red Beans and Rice
How To Make Chicken Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, and then remove. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan combine melted butter, oil and flour until smooth.
Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 20-30 minutes or until it turns a rich dark brown color – just like chocolate. Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn. When you have achieved your desired color. Remove from stove and let it cool. Return the Dutch oven back on the stove. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 8- 10 minutes –stirring frequently.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 45 – 50 minutes. Add the shrimp, simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in file powder, green onions, and chopped parsley. Adjust thickness soup and flavor with broth or water and salt.
Watch How to Make It
Chicken Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo - rich, flavorful gumbo bursting with authentic flavors and loaded with chicken, shrimp, crab legs and sausage. Everything you want in a comfort food is right in here. A dish like no other!
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 pounds chicken skinless chicken thigh
- 8 oz smoked sausage
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 sticks)
- ½ pound crab legs
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning.
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder or 1 cube
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon thyme fresh or dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 14- oz can tomatoes (chopped)
- 6 cups chicken stock (sub with water)
- 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 tablespoon gumbo file
- 2 green onions , chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, and then remove. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan combine melted butter, oil and flour until smooth.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 20-30 minutes or until it turns a rich dark brown color - just like chocolate. Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn.
- When you have achieved your desired color. Remove from stove and let it cool.
- Return the Dutch oven back on the stove. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 8- 10 minutes –stirring frequently.
Then add chicken, sausage, crab legs, creole seasoning, chicken bouillon or cubes, paprika, thyme, bay leaves and let it cook for 5 minutes. Followed by can tomatoes about 6 cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 45 – 50 minutes. Add the shrimp, simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Stir in file powder, green onions, and chopped parsley.
- Adjust thickness soup and flavor with broth or water and salt.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.