Mom’s Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

I’m sure everyone thinks theyyy momma makes the best gumbo, but I assure you, my momma does.  This is my all-time, number one comfort dish.  When I’ve been away from home too long or if I’m feeling sickly, this is all I want to eat.  On my last trip home, I ate this three nights.

Gumbo should never be rushed.  It is something you should devote a whole day to (Sunday, IMO).  That is why this recipe makes so much gumbo – you don’t want to make this every time you want gumbo.  Gumbo freezes wonderfully.

I like to give myself two days to make gumbo b/c I don’t like to work at it all day!  On Day 1, I do all the chopping work and I cook my chicken and make my broth.  This also makes it easier to scrape the grease of your broth after refrigerating it overnight.  Then on Day 2, all you have to do is make a roux and let things simmer for a few hours!

This time making it, I served it at my Mardi Gras party.  As is custom, I served it with amazing potato salad (recipe to follow) – it is up to you whether you want to stir it in your gumbo like some Louisianians do or keep it on the side.  I compromise and eat it on the side, but lightly dip each spoonful in my gumbo.

Don’t judge the obvious fact that this sausage is NOT andouille – I’m in Charleston, people!!  I could have gone searching for some, but I was super rushed.  Also, I know these coo-yons wouldn’t know the difference. 🙂

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

  • 2 large chickens, each around 5.5 pounds, cleaned – I buy the already cut up ones
  • 1 pound of smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound of andouille, sliced – if you don’t have this in your area, just double your smoked sausage
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped – and save the end part you normally throw out
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped – and save the end parts you normally throw out
  • 2 medium to large onions, chopped – and save the ends and skin parts you normally throw out
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped – and save the stem part you normally throw out
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt, cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of flour

Step 1: make your broth and cook your chicken

Wash all of the saved parts of the veggies (normally thrown away) until clean.  These veggies are gonna help make your stock more flavorful.  Put 2 quarts of water in a large (seriously, large) stockpot.  Add the garbage veggies (extras), 1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned , 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and chicken to the pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Then, lower your heat, but keep at a gentle boil, for about 1 hour until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and then strain your broth. (In other words, you are keeping the brothy part – a little over 2 quarts – and throwing away the garbage veggies.)  Put your broth in the refrigerator and refrigerate your broth overnight if you can.  If you can’t, skim the fat off the top of your broth as best you can.

Debone and chop up all your chicken.  Put in a gallon zipper and refrigerate.

Step 2:  Make that roux and let it get yummy

If you have refrigerated your broth overnight, the fat has congealed to the top – remove that fat.

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Using your LARGE pot, heat your oil over medium heat.  Add 2 cups of flour and whisk until a dark caramel.  Whisk constantly.  This is the making of your roux.  Don’t rush it.  Don’t burn it. Not stirring or whisking constantly will cause the flour to burn and your roux is ruined.  Here is the coloring you’ll see happen with your roux.

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After your roux turns a dark caramel, add your chopped onions.  This will caramelize and release sugars and darken your roux.  After 5-10 minutes, add bell pepper, celery, and garlic.  Saute 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.

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Add reserved broth, 1 Tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne.  Keep at a low boil and keep covered.  Stir often.  After 45 mins to 1 hour, add sliced sausage and andouille and 4 cups of water.  Cook another hour.  Skim fat off the top layer.

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Add chopped green onion and parsley, chopped chicken, and 2 cups water. Cook another 1/2 hour.  Add additional water according to desired consistency (usually around 1 cup).

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Serve it over fluffy white rice!!!

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(Yes, this is a pic from home with real andouille.)

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Catfish Courtbouillon

My cousin Ali and I made the most scrumptious cajun dish – catfish courtbouillon.  We subbed  snapper for the catfish since Ali had some on hand she had caught.  I don’t say upgrade because I lurrrve me some catfish.  But it was super delicious with snapper, too.

My go-to chef for cajun dishes is John Folse (followed by Donald Link).  His website has so many recipes.  We used his Catfish Courtbouillon recipe with some adjustments.  It is written rather confusingly.  But, it still turned out great!

A cajun courtbouillon is a fish stew that starts off with a roux, to which you add veggies and fish.  Yes, I know “fish stew” does not sound like the kind of dish you are just dying to run out and make ASAP.  But, trust me, this is an awesome, basic, hug your belly kinda recipe.  Served over rice, it is comfort in a bowl.

It is quite pretty, too, especially for the holidays – look at that red and green.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (3-5 pound) catfish – filleted and cut into small pieces of fish, reserving bones and excess parts for stock
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tbsps chopped garlic
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • salt and red pepper to taste
  • Excess ingredients for stock: one cubed onion, one stalk of celery, 2 bay leaves, 1 T peppercorns


Fillet the catfish and cut into two inch square cubes. Place the bones and head in a pot with one gallon of water, one cubed onion, one stalk of celery, 2 bay leaves and a tablespoon of peppercorns. Bring to a rolling boil and cook 30 minutes, skimming the impurities that rise to the surface. Strain and reserve 3 quarts for the courtbouillon.

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and using a wire whip stir constantly until dark brown roux is achieved – at medium heat.

If you have never made a roux before, it is really quite simple.  Just constantly stir to ensure it does not burn.  If you are making your first roux, just lower the heat.  This will make your roux take longer but will make you less stressed about it burning.  When it becomes that perfect dark brown (darker than peanut butter), it is done.  Have your veggies handy to add once it is perfectly cooked so you don’t get distracted and burn it at this point.  Also, seriously use a whisk.  It helps more evenly stir and prevents splatter – you can get a serious roux burn.  Ask a south Louisiana woman to see her roux burns.  My mom has aplenty.

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Add onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and sauté until vegetables are wilted, approximately 3-5 minutes.

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Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and continue to sauté. Add fish stock, one ladle at a time, until all is incorporated.  I found 3 quarts was a bit excessive.  You may want to put a little less.  Too much stock was remedied by just boiling it for longer so the stew thickened while water evaporated, but if you don’t have time to let it boil awhile, just add less stock.

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Add lemon juice, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer. Season to taste – we added some salt, red pepper, and Tabasco.  Allow to cook approximately 30 minutes. Add green onions and season to taste again. Drop cubed catfish fillets into the sauce, allow to cook 3 minutes then remove from heat. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

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Serve over white rice.

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Chicken and Andouille Rice

I made a yummy Cajun dish last night.  Much to my delight, the local Publix grocery had legit andouille sausage!  Andouille is a spicy pork sausage and really makes this dish.  I wasn’t sure what to call this recipe.  It is not a jambalaya because it is not made in the traditional cast iron pot, which I unfortunately do not have.  But it tastes very similar to a jambalaya.  John Folse calls this recipe “Undefeated Red Beans, Rice and Sausage Casserole.”  That mouthful (PUNNY!) just does not sound very appealing.  Also, I don’t want to jinx the “undefeated” reference as both my teams, LSU and Saints, are currently undefeated!  Yes, I believe in jinxing, much to my husband’s annoyance.  I’m often fussing him over things he says with the reprimand, “You just JINXED us!”

Ok. Here is the recipe originally from, and adapted slightly from http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/vegetables/entree13.htm

Chicken and Andouille Rice

  • 2 pounds cubed chicken meat
  • 1 pound sliced smoked sausage or andouille
  • 1 12-ounce can cooked red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups rice, raw
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper and cajun seasoning and hot sauce, to taste

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add smoked sausage until browned.  Add cubed chicken and saute until the fat has been rendered. Don’t dry it out – it will cook more after this stage.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.

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Add chicken stock and tomato sauce. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 10 to 15 minutes for seasonings to develop.  Add cooked red beans, green onions, parsley and rice. (Mine did not include the parsley because my darling hubby bought cilantro, thinking it was parsley. Too cute)

Stir well to blend thoroughly. Season stock to taste using salt, pepper, cajun seasoning (I used a little Tony Chachere’s) and Louisiana hot sauce (I used Tabasco).

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Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook approximately 45 minutes stirring only once after 30 minutes of cooking time.  Keep the lid on during this time.  Make sure to check after 30 minutes! Mine was done at this point.  45 minutes would have overcooked my rice.  I also am attempting to adjust to my new gas stove, so I may have had the heat too high.  When I took off the lid at 30 mins, I saw this lovely sight:

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This was really good and feeds a crowd.  The original recipe said this makes 8 servings, but it’s a lot more than that, I think.  After feeding four people, I have a gallon zip lock bag filled to the brim with leftovers.  I really hope Geoff was honest in saying how much he liked this because he will be eating it every day for lunch until it’s gone.

It was really nice to make something that tasted like home.  Cajun food is just so comforting, like a big hug.