Gumbo is simply love in a bowl. Everything that I love in one dish and if I’m lucky, one bite! It took me years to make gumbo. Like many people, I was so intimidated by the idea of making homemade gumbo. It seemed like Chicken shrimp & smoked sausage gumbo was only supposed to made and enjoyed in restaurants, until one day I read through a few recipes and realized just how easy it is to make gumbo at home. From that day forward I have been enjoying this hearty, rich, and savory bowl of love ever since, and you can too!
So the thing with gumbo that is probably the most intimidating part is making that glorious roux. If you can get this part down then the rest is a breeze. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Another thing that I like to do when making gumbo and stews is prep my ingredients before anything goes into the pot. Veggies are diced, meats are cleaned & trimmed, dry & wet ingredients are measured, and all I have to do is cook and sip my wine. Yes, sipping wine while cooking is life!
What is a Roux?
A roux is flour and fat (oil & butter, for this recipe) used to thicken sauces, gravy’s, stews, and soups. The flour and fats are mixed together until it’s smooth and the raw flour taste is no longer apparent. After 25-30 minutes of continuous stirring the flour and fat will cook down and create a deep rich caramel color, creating a roux.
The color of the roux is very important when it comes to the richness and taste of your gumbo. A light roux provides little flavor to savory dishes. A darker roux adds a nutty flavor to the gumbo, which is what we are going for. I like to think of it as, the darker the color, the richer the flavor.
Preparing the Chicken shrimp & smoked sausage gumbo
So as I mentioned earlier, it’s best to prepare all of your main ingredients in advance. This includes dicing your green pepper, onion, and celery. I know that some stores sell pre-diced onions and celery, you can definitely choose that option. As for the chicken, be sure to clean and trim any excess fat that you don’t want. You can also season the chicken at this time. The sausage can be sliced into small pieces or halved, it’s up to you. The shrimp will need to be peeled and deveined.
For this recipe you are using the vegetable oil that’s already in the pot (the same pot you browned the chicken and sausage in) butter, and flour. We are using the vegetable oil and butter because the oil will stop the roux from browning too fast and will give you time to develop your color. Without it, the butter will brown a lot faster on its own. Once you have mixed the flour and butter it is important to continue to whisk the mixture together at a steady pace. Try not to walk away during this time, as it may burn.
The seasonings for this gumbo are pretty simple and you probably have most if not all of them in your pantry. If you’re comfortable seasoning dishes to your liking, then season away! I definitely recommend a good creole seasoning; I use Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. It gives the gumbo an amazing spice blend that works perfectly every single time. My other spices are listed in the recipe card, below. As for the broth, we’re using 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water. The water balances the sodium from the broth without losing any of the natural flavors or added spices.
Once you have made your roux, you’re good to go! Allow the roux to cool away from the heat and then add in all of your ingredients one by one, except for the shrimp and gumbo file. Those will be added in during the last 10 minutes. I absolutely love this recipe and the way all the ingredients come together to create one big pot of goodness!
While I have shared with you my list of spices, I encourage you to play around with some of your favorite savory spices as well. If you want more heat, add some cajun seasoning or red pepper flakes. I’d love to hear and read your comments about how this easy Chicken Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo worked out for you. Happy eating!!