Each week this fall we’ll revisit a recipe from last year’s Joy the Baker Magazine with new tips, tricks and insights. The latest issue of my holiday magazine will hit grocery store shelves nationwide (and in Canada!) November 1st! This week, let’s make Chicken and Andouille Gumbo. So many hours and so much pure love goes into a pot of gumbo – mastering your own pot is a life skill that cannot be underestimated.
For my first few years living in New Orleans I wasn’t sure I was allowed to make gumbo, let alone write about it. Gumbo is the state cuisine of Louisiana but more than that, it feels like a sacred dish, from it’s preparation to how it’s enjoyed.
Gumbo, like so many other deeply Southern dishes, derives it’s deliciousness from so many of the cultures that called South Louisiana home. The name gumbo is derived from a west African word for orka, a truly essential ingredient to the soup. Other ingredients like filé are said to have originated from the Choctaw. The presence of a roux in gumbo is very French indeed.
Gumbo is the most democratic food. Gumbo is everyone’s.
It was with cautious respect that set out to make my first dark roux and gumbo. Even when you spend hours over a pot of gumbo, layering ingredients and flavors, it doesn’t feel like your gumbo. Gumbo is always an offering. One bowl is for the next person who knocks on the door, two bowls are for the neighbors down the way, and a big quart will find its way to christen a friend’s new home.
This Chicken and Andouille Gumbo creates a warmth that is meant to be shared and you feel that with every passing stir of the roux spoon.
I invite you to give yourself a day to make your first pot of gumbo. This recipe was my first gumbo and I think it’s a great entry into this sacred space. This recipe is lightly adapted from Donald Link, one of New Orleans’ most respected chefs. The key, I find, in embarking on your first pot of gumbo is to embrace the journey. Gumbo takes TIME. Trust the directions and have faith that it will come together. Gumbo doesn’t taste like gumbo until all the simmering has worn you clear out. You’ll see. With each pot you make you get closer and closer to the divine.
This recipe starts by frying chicken pieces in fat, rendering that flavorful chicken fat. We’ll use that chicken fat to create a most flavorful roux. This extra step makes for the most delicious gumbo base. Now simmer away.Print
A rich and comforting Louisiana classic.
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 (3 1/2–4 lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon filé powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, minced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and minced
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb. andouille, halved and sliced
- 12 oz. okra, trimmed and sliced ½ inch thick
- Sliced scallions, for garnish
- Cooked white rice or potato salad, for serving
- Heat 1 1/4 cups oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven until a deep-fry thermometer reads about 350°.
- Season chicken with 1 tsp. black pepper and a generous amount of salt. Toss with 1/2 cup flour, coating lightly. Working in batches, fry chicken until golden. The chicken does not need to be entirely cooked through. Cook to golden and cook to render the chicken fat. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour to Dutch oven with oil. Whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking often, until color of roux is dark chocolate, 1–1 1/2 hours. You’ll want to stay on top of the roux, whisking very often the darker the roux gets. We want to get to a dark roux without burning it.
- Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, the chile and filé powders, cayenne, white pepper, paprika, garlic, celery, bell pepper, poblano, and onion to the dark roux. Cook until soft, 10–12 minutes. Add stock, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the roux and vegetable mixture, stirring occasionally and skimming fat as needed, until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Add reserved chicken pieces; cook until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
- Add andouille and cook until chicken is falling off the bone, about an additional 1 hour.
- Using tongs, transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly; shred, discarding skin and bones, and return to pot.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Cook okra until golden brown and slightly crisp, 8–10 minutes, then stir into gumbo; cook for 15 minutes. Garnish with scallions and serve with rice or cold potato salad.
I’ve made a roux GF by using sorghum flour. The texture is just a bit more grainy but it’s a fantastic option if you’re gluten-free!