Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice

Total Time:
4 hr
30 min
3 hr 30 min

6 to 7 cups, 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 9 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • White Rice, recipe follows
  • Hot sauce

In a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Season the chicken with the Essence and add in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool, and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock, and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken thighs from the gumbo and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred, discarding the bones and skin. Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and file powder.

Spoon rice into the bottom of deep bowls or large cups and ladle the gumbo on top. Serve, passing hot sauce on the side.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

White Rice:

2 cups long-grain white rice

4 cups water, chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice, water, butter, salt, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes.

Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Yield: 7 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Inactive Prep Time: 5 minutes

Pairs Well With

Crisp, refreshing light beer

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    184 Reviews
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    This recipe rocks! Have been making it exactly as written for years, and it makes a spectacular gumbo every time. It's perfect for those who can't or don't eat seafood. Be patient with the roux: getting it that chocolate color takes time but makes adds so much richness. Great for a crowd, and it freezes beautifully.
    This was a perfect hit at the house. Everyone loved it....I added king crab legs 20 min and cooked shrimp 5 min before it was done. I may have burnt the roux because there were little black pieces throughout the dish but I stirred the whole time as directed... It was still really good. I was proud since this was my first time making gumbo.
    I had never made a roux before, let alone a gumbo. This isn't the best recipe for complete newbies like me to try their first time, because I definitely burned the roux, but kept carrying on because I wasn't positive I had burned it.  
    Anyway, I know what to do next time. It was still pretty tasty despite the fact that it was more...blackish than dark chocolatey brown. Note that the roux might not take 20-25 minutes. I was only at 8 minutes when I realized mine might be too dark.
    It's more than tasty, it's fabulous, however, I hate making a brown roux. I shake in my boots every time. When it's perfect it's perfect and the flavor it imparts is delicious.
    I'm in love with gumbo after visiting NOLA, and this gumbo was out of this world! I am not from the south, and southern cooking is completely foreign to me. I consider myself a good cook, but I never heard of making a roux with OIL (I've made them many times but only with butter), so I was fascinated and a little weirded out by using oil I admit. The next wonderment was cooking a roux until it's brown, wait...what? Brown? But I followed the recipe faithfully and now I understand what cooking that roux till it's brown does for the flavor. WOW! Wow wow wow! If everyone in the world could get together and eat this gumbo, there would be no more war, only peace, love and gumbo!
    Made this for our Super Bowl party. It was a BIG hit on a cold day! This is a keeper for sure. BAM!
    Made the recipe as above with the exception of the rue which I made in the oven per Alton Brown's recipe. Everyone loved the gumbo including some picky eaters. Will make again!
    I've made this several times, it comes out perfect, so easy and delicious. I've made some time saving shortcuts. I use frozen okra to add some thickness, I use a rotisserie chicken, shredded, and frozen chopped onions. Rave reviews every time!
    Absolutely delicious and VERY EASY to follow!
    I made this yesterday and everyone raved over it. I personally thought that it was excellent. The only change I made to it was to substitute 2 cups of chopped okra for the file powder. A tip for those unfamiliar with roux; watch the heat and do not leave the pot unattended. It will burn very quickly if not constantly stirred. You may find that it does not take 20-25 minutes to reach a proper "chocolate" color. I believe that next time I will reduce the chicken stock by one cup and add a couple of minced garlic cloves. This is a WINNER!
    My seven year old loved it which was a score for mom I also added okra, shrimp and substituted the chicken for smoked turkey and chopped a few tomatoes in there and it was perfect my husband had to hearty bowls. Thanks food network another successful meal.
    Hi Jess. How did you cook the smoked turkey for this recipe? My husband doesn't eat red meat so your version sounds perfect.
    This is my first time making homemade Gumbo and my two, wife and son, toughest critics love it. I will say, I prayed a lot while I was making the roux.
    My fiance loved this. It smelled heavenly while it was cooking, our mouths kept watering! He even woke up the next morning and had more for breakfast. 
    I made this without the file powder. The roux is really the key, as other posters have said. Don't be afraid to use a good strong medium heat, and make sure you let it brown. This really adds to the flavor. I also added more Essense than he states. 
    There is a lot of meat in this, which is great, but I might try and bulk it up next time by adding some okra.
    Made this for a group of friends. They are all foodies so the pressure was on. This turned out mind blowing good. Everyone was texting the next day about the amazing gumbo. I made it the day ahead so all I had to do the day of was let it simmer and I added some shrimp. I'll make this again for sure!
    This gumbo was the most flavorful gumbo that I ever had. I had a little problem with the rue as it was a glob when I mixed the 1/2 cup oil and the 1 cup of flour. I immediately went into panic and started slowly adding part of the chicken broth that the recipe asked for and a little water to get the consistency to something like icing. Luckily it turned out great. I used quite a bit more of Emeril's Essence on the chicken and it turned up the Gumbo by at least 2 notches. Thanks Emeril. Your dishes are always welcome in my kitchen.
    Recently my husband and I traveled to New Orleans where we dined at Emeril's. We ordered the Gumbo and LOVED it! After being inspired by the flavors of this cajun dish, decided I had to make it! I have to say it was EXCELLENT! Don't be deceived by the length of time it takes to make this recipe.... It's actually very easy, and well worth the time! I recommend doing the prep work the day before. I also did not use the File Powder and you would never know it was missing. This is such a FABULOUS dish!!!!! I will definitely add this one to the rotation! Was it as good as Emeril's? Lets just say there were no leftovers. Thank you Emeril!!!!!
    M family loved it (even the little one that said E<a href="http://www">www.#60;/a&#62; Gumbo, I don&#39;t eat that! I doubled the recipe to have leftovers. The roux took some time and effort but I achieved the chocolate color. I had never been patient enough to make it before. This Gumbo is so filling. I added shrimp (on the side when dishing up the Gumbo. I love to cook and get a huge amount of satisfaction seeing everyone enjoy a meal that I have prepared.
    EXCELLENT! I&#39;ve never even had gumbo before, but my husband loves it and I was up for the challenge. I didn&#39;t have file, but it was wonderful. We both loved, loved, loved this recipe... thank you Emeril!
    This is a keeper! I didn't have any file on hand so I skipped it. For those who don't know what it is it's ground sassafras leaves. It is used as a thickener and for flavoring-sometimes at the end of cooking and sometimes it is added as a condiment at the dinner table. The leaves are used in soups and stews and if you pull up a sassafras plant in the wild you will discover that it's roots smell like root beer. It is where natural root beer flavoring comes from. Zatarain's makes the brand I am familiar with and if you can't find it locally then you can find it online. I didn't use it tonight and my gumbo still tastes delicious. The roux is the key. I used canola oil and 10 being the highest setting and 1 being the lowest I used a temp setting of 4 on my stove top to prepare my roux and it came out perfect. Truly authentic flavor and I know because I was raised in Louisiana!
    It was ok.
    After years of cooking, finally made gumbo. Wonderful recipe - only change was using boned thighs, which made shredding the cooked meat a snap. Will feed our family of six two times over.
    I messed up and added the green onions and file powder at the same time as the other seasonings - but it was still GREAT! We're not pork eaters, so I used smoked turkey sausage, and I added shrimp at the very end of cooking....this had great flavor. I made brown rice instead of white - I haven't eaten white rice in years...
    Followed this recipe exactly my first time making Gumbo, and I'll do it again. It's fantastic - and even better the second or third day.  
    Just DON'T skip the hot sauce when serving. It really adds to the flavor and experience. I'd recommend at least a tablespoon per bowl when you serve it. I used Franks Red Hot. 
    For anyone looking for Gumbo File, check the spices section of your grocery store - usually around the cajun/creole seasonings. Spice Islands makes one - but it's expensive compared to the Tony Chachere's or Zatarains variety.
    From Pennsylvania never heard of file. But other wise very good.
    This recipe was wonderful. We used a down home type of sausage and my whole family ate it up!! Even my very picky 4 & 5 year olds!!
    This gumbo turned out delicious!! I used canola oil first, not thinking about the smoke point and burned my roux, so I started over with veggie oil and got the chocolate roux going good. I had chicken breast handy, co I used those cut into chunks and kinda shredded up. I also threw in some precooked shrimp from the deli. I did not have file and don't even know where to hunt it down around here, I'll have to look into that. Great dish though, making the roux is a pain, but it added sooo much flavor. My hubs loved it! And the scallions on top really add to the dish. I used easy micro jasmine rice from Trader Joe's.
    amazing gumbo. the roux took a long time because I didn't want to ruin it. this is the darkest roux I've ever made and it is worth the time and effort. wanted to just dive right into it,it was so beautiful. used chicken breast, added shrimp and okra. used the file'...what's gumbo without file'. could taste the richness of the roux in every bite. LOVED this.
    This recipe is delicious. Everyone loved it! The kitchen smelled like Louisiana. The only problem I had was keeping everyone out of the pot before it was ready to serve! Great one!
    This recipe is awesome! This is one of the best recipes I have ever tried. Thank you, Emeril!!!
    I had a hard time finding a gumbo recipe that I wanted to try. Because this recipe received such high rating I used the recipes with some changes. I made this dish with a twist! My family is big seafood lovers so the dish was made up of mostly seafood.  
    I wanted a smashin Gumbo for a special occasion! So I had many substitutions ? Used Lobster in place of the chicken?added some crab meat okra and shrimp towards the end and adhere to the advice and used Emeril's ESSENCE Creole seasoning?  
    Because I wasn?t using the chicken.. I made the roué from scratch. I?m a southern cook and roué to me is another word for gray, which I had no problem making. I used the oil from the sausage that I fried, added the flour with onions. Once roué had browned to my consistency I added my liquids (chicken stock. Very tasty! 
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