Warm Up Your Winter Nights with This Delicious Chicken Gumbo Recipe

Hey there! Winter is the perfect time to experiment with soups and stews, and what better way to add some warmth to your winter nights than with a hearty bowl of chicken gumbo? This iconic Creole dish is packed with flavor and is sure to become a favorite in your household. And the best part? It’s surprisingly easy to make!

Warm Up Your Winter Nights with This Delicious Chicken Gumbo Recipe

Traditionally, gumbo is made with a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat that is cooked until it reaches a deep brown color. This gives the dish its characteristic nutty flavor and thick consistency. However, our recipe skips the roux and instead relies on okra to thicken the gumbo. Okra is a common vegetable in Creole cooking and is known for its slimy texture. When cooked, the okra releases its natural thickening agent, which helps to give the gumbo its signature texture. So let’s get into it and warm up those winter nights with a big bowl of delicious chicken gumbo!

Introduction to Chicken Gumbo Recipe

Gumbo is a stew that originated in Louisiana and is often associated with Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is a hearty and flavorful dish made with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, and meat. Chicken gumbo is a popular variation of this stew, which is easy to make and is perfect for a comforting meal.

What is Chicken Gumbo?

Chicken gumbo is a type of gumbo that is made with chicken. It is a thick and hearty stew that is flavored with a blend of spices and herbs such as cayenne, thyme, and bay leaves. This stew is often served with rice and is a staple in Creole and Cajun cuisine. Gumbo has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century when it was introduced in Louisiana. It has since become a popular dish all over the world.

Why should you cook it?

Aside from its delicious taste, chicken gumbo offers many health benefits. It is a great source of protein and is low in fat, making it perfect for those who are watching their weight. Chicken gumbo also contains a variety of vegetables such as okra, peppers, and celery, which are all loaded with vitamins and minerals. Moreover, gumbo is a versatile dish that can be modified to suit different dietary needs and preferences. You can add more vegetables or substitute meat with tofu to make it a vegetarian-friendly dish.

What are the ingredients?

The essential ingredients for chicken gumbo include chicken, celery, peppers, onion, okra, garlic, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices such as cayenne, thyme, and bay leaves. Optional ingredients include andouille sausage, shrimp, and crab meat. It is important to use fresh ingredients for this recipe to ensure that the flavors are well-balanced and to achieve the desired texture.

In conclusion, chicken gumbo is a delicious and easy-to-make stew that offers many health benefits. It is a versatile dish that can be modified to suit different preferences and dietary needs. With its blend of spices and herbs, chicken gumbo is a flavorful meal that is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion.

Preparation and Cooking

Chicken gumbo is a delicious and hearty dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year. This Cajun-inspired dish is made with chicken, sausage, and a variety of vegetables and spices. If you’re looking to try your hand at making chicken gumbo, here are some tips and instructions to help you get started.

Preparation Tips

Before you start cooking your chicken gumbo, it’s important to properly prep your ingredients. First, you’ll need to gather all of your ingredients and make sure they’re washed and chopped. Here are some tips on how to prepare some of the key ingredients:

  • Chicken: Cut it into small pieces, discarding any excess fat and skin. You can use any type of chicken that you like, such as thighs, breasts, or drumsticks. Just make sure the pieces are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Sausage: Slice it into pieces and remove any casing if necessary.
  • Vegetables: Cut them into small pieces. You’ll need onions, celery, green bell peppers, garlic, and okra. If you don’t like okra, you can omit it from the recipe.
  • Rice: Prepare your rice according to package instructions.

Once you’ve prepped all of your ingredients, you can start cooking!

Cooking Instructions

Now that your ingredients are prepped, it’s time to start cooking your chicken gumbo. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken and sausage from the pot and set aside. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add the okra, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 30 minutes, add the cooked chicken and sausage back to the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Serve your chicken gumbo over cooked rice.

That’s it! Your delicious and flavorful chicken gumbo is ready to be enjoyed.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your chicken gumbo is ready, it’s time to serve it up. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Serve your chicken gumbo over white or brown rice. The rice helps to soak up the flavorful broth and adds a nice texture to the dish.
  • Top your chicken gumbo with some sliced green onions for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Pair your chicken gumbo with some crusty bread for dipping.
  • Enjoy your chicken gumbo with a cold beer or a glass of sweet tea.

With these tips and instructions, you’ll be able to make a delicious and authentic chicken gumbo that will satisfy your cravings and impress your guests. Happy cooking!

Variations and Modifications

Seafood Gumbo

If you’re a fan of seafood, then you’ll love this twist on the chicken gumbo recipe. To make seafood gumbo, you’ll need to swap out the chicken for a selection of seafood like shrimp, crab, and crawfish. The cooking process is the same for this variation, but you’ll want to add your seafood towards the end of the cooking process to avoid overcooking them.

One of the things that make seafood gumbo remarkable is the seafood stock, which is packed with the natural flavors of the ocean. You can make your own seafood stock by simmering shrimp shells and fish bones in water for several hours. If you don’t have the time or the means to make your own stock, you can buy pre-made seafood stock from your local grocery store.

Seafood gumbo is a tasty alternative to the traditional chicken gumbo recipe. It’s perfect for seafood lovers who want to enjoy a savory, hearty bowl of gumbo made with their favorite shellfish.

Vegan Gumbo

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of gumbo by making a few tweaks. In lieu of chicken, you can use chickpeas or tofu as a protein source. You’ll also want to swap out the traditional roux made with butter and flour for a vegan butter and gluten-free flour substitute.

To make up for the absence of meat-based flavors, you can add a generous amount of vegetables like okra, bell peppers, and celery. You could also add smoked paprika, liquid smoke, or soy sauce to replicate the smoky, umami flavor of meat. And don’t forget the Cajun and Creole seasonings that give gumbo its signature taste.

Even without meat, vegan gumbo can be thick, hearty, and flavorful. And by using plant-based protein sources, you’re not only making a healthier dish but also a more sustainable one.

Gluten-Free Gumbo

For those with gluten intolerance, you’ll need to modify the chicken gumbo recipe slightly to make it gluten-free. The first step is to replace regular all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour like rice flour or cornstarch. The roux will not be as thick with gluten-free flour, so you might want to use a bit more.

Another way to make gluten-free gumbo is to use okra as a natural thickening agent instead of a roux. Okra is a common ingredient in gumbo, and when cooked, it releases a slimy substance that works like a thickener. The longer the okra cooks, the thicker the gumbo will be.

Make sure that the ingredients you’re using are also gluten-free. Seasonings and sauces like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Cajun spice blends may contain gluten. Always check labels and do your research to ensure that your gumbo is completely safe for those with gluten intolerance.

By making a few easy substitutions, you can create a gluten-free version of chicken gumbo that’s just as tasty as the original.

FAQs about Chicken Gumbo Recipe

What is the origin of chicken gumbo?

Chicken gumbo finds its roots in Southern Louisiana where it developed into a cultural symbol. The humble dish is considered a culinary treasure of the area and is often referred to as a “Louisiana specialty.” The term “gumbo” is taken from an African word meaning “okra,” which is a key ingredient found in most gumbo dishes. Traditionally, gumbo is served during festivals and other special occasions, highlighting the communal nature of the dish which brings everyone together.

Can I use different types of meat?

Chicken is the most common meat used in gumbo; however, there are countless variations of the dish that incorporate different types of meat. Many people prefer to use seafood like shrimp, fish, oysters while others opt for sausage or pork meat. Turkey, duck, lamb, and beef are also popular meat choices for gumbo. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what type of flavor you want to achieve with the dish. Experiment with different kinds of meat to find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.

How long does chicken gumbo last?

The shelf life of chicken gumbo depends on various factors such as the ingredients used, the preparation method, and storage conditions. Generally, a properly stored gumbo can last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. To maximize the shelf life of your gumbo, store it in a clean, airtight container and place it in the fridge as soon as it cools to room temperature. If you want to keep your gumbo for longer, consider freezing it in a freezer-safe container. Frozen gumbo can last for up to 3 months and as long as it’s stored at 0-degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the essential ingredients for a classic chicken gumbo?

The classic chicken gumbo is a rich and flavorful combination of Cajun and Creole ingredients. These include the so-called “holy trinity” – onion, celery, and bell pepper, which form the base of the dish. Other essential ingredients include okra, roux, and chicken stock. The dish is also seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, including bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and cayenne pepper. It’s worth noting that every gumbo recipe is unique and may include a plethora of additional ingredients, such as sausage, seafood, or vegetables.

What’s the best way to thicken chicken gumbo?

Gumbo is typically meant to be on the thicker side, and to achieve this, a roux is used as a thickening agent. A roux is made by combining equal parts flour and oil in a skillet and cooking it over low heat. The mixture turns into a thick, dark paste, which is then added to the gumbo. Alternatively, some people prefer to thicken the gumbo by using filé powder, derived from ground sassafras leaves. The powder is added towards the end of the cooking process and works by thickening the gumbo while also providing a distinct flavor.

How is chicken gumbo usually served?

Chicken gumbo is a hearty dish that is typically served over a bed of steaming hot rice. Some people may also choose to serve it with crusty bread or biscuits on the side. A popular garnish for gumbo is chopped green onions or parsley sprinkled on top. The dish is also delicious when topped with hot sauce or a scoop of sour cream.

What’s the best way to reheat chicken gumbo?

The best way to reheat chicken gumbo is by heating it over medium-low heat in a pot on the stovetop. Be sure to stir the gumbo occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Alternatively, you can reheat the gumbo in the microwave, but be sure to cover it with a damp paper towel to avoid uneven cooking. Avoid overheating the gumbo as this may cause it to become watery and lose its flavor.

What side dishes go well with chicken gumbo?

Chicken gumbo is a well-rounded meal that doesn’t require many side dishes. However, if you want to complement the dish with something, consider serving it with a simple green salad or coleslaw. Garlic bread or cornbread can also make a fantastic accompaniment to chicken gumbo. For those with a sweet tooth, bread pudding or pecan pie can be served as a dessert to round off the meal.

Warm Up Your Winter Nights With This Delicious Chicken Gumbo Recipe: Conclusion

We hope that this recipe has warmed up your winter nights and satisfied your cravings for a hearty, savory meal. Gumbo is a classic American dish that is easy to make and perfect for a cozy night in. We encourage you to experiment with different ingredients and spices to make this recipe your own. Don’t forget to share it with friends and family to spread the warmth and joy during this winter season.

Thank you for reading and visiting our site for the best chicken gumbo recipe. We appreciate your support and hope you’ll come back for more delicious recipes and cooking tips. Stay warm and enjoy the rest of your winter nights with good food and good company.


1. Can I use shrimp instead of chicken in gumbo?

Yes, shrimp is a great alternative to chicken in gumbo. You can even use a combination of both for added flavor.

2. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh. Just make sure to drain the excess liquid before adding them to the pot.

3. Can I freeze chicken gumbo?

Yes, you can freeze chicken gumbo for up to 2-3 months. Just make sure to let it cool before storing it in an airtight container.

4. What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Gumbo is a soup-like dish made with a roux, vegetables, and meat or seafood, while jambalaya is a rice-based dish that also includes meat, vegetables, and seafood.

5. What kind of sausage should I use in gumbo?

Andouille sausage is the most traditional sausage to use in gumbo, but you can also use other types of smoked sausage or even chicken sausage.

6. Can I make gumbo ahead of time?

Yes, you can make gumbo ahead of time and reheat it when you’re ready to serve. Just make sure to store it in the fridge or freezer.

7. Can I make gumbo without a roux?

Technically, yes, you could make gumbo without a roux, but the roux helps to thicken the broth and adds a nutty flavor to the dish.

8. What should I serve with chicken gumbo?

Traditionally, gumbo is served with rice or crusty bread. You could also serve it with a green salad or cornbread.

9. How spicy is chicken gumbo?

The spiciness of gumbo can vary depending on the amount of spices and peppers you use. This recipe has a moderate amount of heat, but you can adjust it to your liking.

10. Can I use a slow cooker to make gumbo?

Yes, you could use a slow cooker to make gumbo, but it may not have the same depth of flavor as when cooked on the stove. Make sure to still start by making a roux on the stove before transferring it to the slow cooker.

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About the Author: David Dunlap

Worked in restaurants for years before turning to food writing and has won multiple awards for the work, including more than a dozen awards.

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