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.
See also New Orleans Red Beans and Rice. Red Beans and Rice Nachos and Gumbo Poutine.Print
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: about 5 hours
- Yield: Serves 8 to 10 1x
- Category: dinner
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!
New to dealing with a whole chicken haha….how exactly is the whole chicken cut into 8 pieces? Just 8 random pieces to make it easier to handle or is there some specific way to cut it?
Joy the Baker
Hi Rebecca! There is definitely a specific way to cut a whole chicken! YouTube is full of videos about it but my suggestions is to go to the butcher’s counter at the grocery store and buy a whole chicken and ask them to “break it down for you” – they’re experts and it’ll come in eight nice pieces (plus wings) for you!
Beck and Bulow
The sheen from the sauce glaze looks so good. I will be trying them on my Tofu too.
This recipe makes me want to take a day off just to cook it!
ready to embrace the journey! from someone who’s a complete gumbo novice, even to eating it, but like all of the ingredients and the flavor so thank you
I think this recipe is amazing. I’m making it right now and I can’t wait to add it to the gumbo arsenal. Any chance of a gumbo class some time?
While your gumbo looks delicious I must admit I was surprised you used okra in a chicken and sausage gumbo. Traditionally the New Orleans gumbo is a seafood or shrimp one and it does include okra and a lighter roux. For a Cajun gumbo of chicken and sausage there traditionally is no okra but a very dark roux. Over time it has all blended together and folks use okra in both I guess.
Must have butter added to oil for roux. Creates a more flavorful outcome.
Will the 2021 issue be available for purchase via Amazon or your website again? I really hope so!! I loved last year’s magazine and was so happy to hear there was going to be another one this year.
Interesting. I always read that raw gumbo is added early on because it acts as a thickener. But I’ll keep an open mind. This recipe sounds terrific.
Now, don’t come after me, but one of the small objections I’ve always had to gumbo is the amount of fat required for the roux. Enter America’s Test Kitchen and their method for toasting flour in the oven to a dark cinnamon shade and whisking it into cold stock before adding to the rest of the gumbo. It works, it’s delicious and saves something like 2,400 calories if you are using 1-1/2 cups of oil to make your roux. There’s generally plenty of other fat in a gumbo, so I can’t say I miss the classic roux. If you are a purist, do use the classic technique but I hope this might be helpful to others.
You’re right, that’s a big, “two-handed”, roux and by the time you add the chicken broth, shredded fried chicken and andouille there’s gonna be a ton of skimming or a really fatty/oily gumbo. Chef John Besh tilts his pot a little to collect the fat get a better skimming angle.
I always make a vegetable stock, use skinless chicken and render my sausage and drain and blot before adding.
Hi Joy, this looks gorgeous! Any tips on making it in the Instant Pot?
I’m not sure about the Instant Pot. For me this is absolutely a stovetop dish.
Joy, if you want to make this the day before serving, will it be even better the next day? Or is it best served right after making?
To me, gumbo always tastes BETTER the next day, Every time we have people over for gumbo, we make it a day in advance.