Chicken & Cajun Sausage Gumbo


  • 2 pounds chicken (908g) thighs
  • 2 quarts water (1.9L)
  • 1 pound fresh okra from the garden, (454g) 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup water (240ml) to cook the okra
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (114g)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (68g)
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion (206g) ¼ inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups bell pepper (230g) ¼ inch dice, green and red
  • 1/3 cup celery (55g) ¼ inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups (1 can) diced canned tomatoes (454g, 16 ounces)
  • 12 ounces Cajun sausage (340g) cooked, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil dried
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file (5g) Zatarain’s


  1. In a medium-sized pot, add chicken breast and thighs and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring water to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked about 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Strain water and reserve.
  3. Remove cooked chicken from pot, allow to cool, then shred into small pieces. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, add okra and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 7-9 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer okra to a colander, drain, then reserve.
  6. In a large pot, combine ½ cup unsalted butter and ½ cup flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk to make a dark brown roux, about 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes make sure to continuously stir so the roux does not burn.
  7. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add cooked okra, tomatoes, and sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  10. Add 4 cups of the reserved water (from step 2), mix well. You may add more water depending on how thick you want the gumbo.
  11. Simmer over medium-low heat, for approximately 30 minutes with pot loosely covered, stirring occasionally.
  12. Add cooked shredded chicken and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
  13. Turn off heat, and slowly stir in the gumbo file. Do not reboil after adding as this tends to make the gumbo stringy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  14. Serve over steamed rice.

Recipe Source: “Favorite Recipes from Famous New Orleans Restaurants”, by Express Publishing Co. (1981)

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