Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo #glutenfree #caseinfree
There are lots of different gumbos in this world and every one of them is special with its own unique story. I’m personally partial to chicken andouille sausage gumbo with a deep dark roux. The roux is what gumbos have in common. A roux is made with almost any type of fat and flour in equal parts – some cooked to a light blond, medium peanut butter brown or dark chocolate.
The first time I fell in love with chicken andouille gumbo was in NOLA at The Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and every time I visited New Orleans, I would take whoever I was with, however hungover we might be, to stand in a long line just to get some of that amazing gumbo! And the warm bread pudding with whiskey sauce is pretty decadently amazing, too. As it turns out that gumbo is an award winning recipe and you can order it online!
But here’s the thing – I can’t eat gluten anymore, which is common in most all-purpose flours so I can’t order it online. And I’m super sensitive to dairy too and well let’s just say “all the chemicals” so I try to avoid any veggies that aren’t organic and canned tomatoes (until we found Muir Glen, which is organic and sold in non-BPA lined cans).
Then – to my extreme joy – The Gumbo Shop published a cookbook with the recipe for their fabulous chicken andouille sausage gumbo in it! And I’ve made it over and over and over again since I bought the cookbook in October of 2010 (so almost every 2-3 months for 5 years). Yes, I really do love this gumbo!
I’ve tried it with butter (pre-casein free days), coconut oil, ghee and olive oil. All work perfectly well as the fat but I prefer using high quality EVOO or ghee. I used certified gluten free oat flour the first time I made it and really liked the outcome so I didn’t try any other gluten free flours. Almost any gluten free flour should work, but probably not an all-purpose gluten free flour that contains xanthan gum – it might ruin the gumbo. I used an all-purpose gluten free flour with xanthan gum in a chowder recipe and it turned super slimy and was not edible so I don’t use that type of flour in soups, gravies, the gumbo, etc.
Now this recipe takes a lot of prep and work but it is worth it! I make a huge batch and freeze most of it for lunches. I find that it works even better than chicken soup when my allergies get a little out of control or I feel under the weather. It is filled with magical healing powers. I even have a special gumbo bowl with handles to reheat it in now, too. MMMMM!
Okay, I’m going to walk you through the steps in the recipe box below but here are some of the things to make sure not to miss. I’m sorry for the annoying attention to detail, but I’ve made it so many times and these are the tricks and tips that really help make the process easier and result in an amazing gumbo and successful experience:
- start boiling the chicken before you do anything else (you will use both the cooked chicken and broth)
- any type of chicken will work, I just prefer white meat so I use bone-in split chicken breasts (you need about 2 1/2 pounds of chicken)
- make sure to prep the Cajun mirepoix (onion, celery, green bell pepper) before starting the roux and keep it nearby when you start cooking the roux because you add it as soon as it turns just the right color
- the mirepoix doesn’t have to be measured perfectly so a little more onion or bell pepper or celery is okay
- oat flour makes a weird looking roux, kind of dry and crumbly, but it will be okay once the veg is added and cooked down
- if using olive oil as the fat, make sure it is good quality/pure and has a high smoke point — lately I’ve been using 1/4 cup ghee and 1/4 cup coconut oil
- when the roux starts cooking it needs to be stirred constantly, preferably with a wooden or silicon spatula, until it turns the right color – so don’t leave it to do something else once you get it going, the oat flour cooks really fast
- if you’ve never made a roux before do a TEST RUN with a little oil and flour to see how far it will go before truly burning (this was one of the best tips from The Gumbo Shop Cookbook) – you want it to be almost burnt – and every stove temperature and cooking vessel is different so this is where a little experimentation is worth practicing at least once before you invest the money, time and ingredients
- COOKWARE/STOVE TEMPS ARE DIFFERENT – so you may need to keep adjusting the heat to get it just right
- after the mirepoix is added don’t stir constantly because now you actually want some of it to burn a little so that it turns a beautiful deep dark brown (stir about every 3-4 minutes scraping the burnt bits from the bottom of the pot)
- either fire-roast fresh tomatoes and chop or used canned tomatoes (from a BPA-free can) for a total of 16 ounces/2 cups after removing cores and seeds
- that is usually 8-10 large Roma tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes that have been cored and deseeded
- frying fresh or frozen okra (fresh is better if it is seasonally available) in olive oil over pretty high heat gets rid of the stickiness before you add it to the gumbo, but don’t stir too much while frying or they will fall apart and break down
- any type of andouille sausage or sausage will work – Aidells is gluten and dairy free so that is what I use now and the flavor is awesome
- the tomatoes, fried okra and sausage will be added and cooked for about 15 minutes before adding the spices and chicken broth – don’t stir constantly here either
- chicken broth (from cooking the chicken for about an hour) will be added to the gumbo once the chicken is done and set aside
- the gumbo will take another 1 1/2 hours to cook from this point
- use as much as broth as you can fit into the Dutch oven, save what is left to add when some of it cooks off
- add the first quart of chicken broth and stir well to scrape everything off the bottom of the pot and then add the rest
- the cooked shredded chicken pulled off the bone will be added during the last 20 minutes
- about 20-30 minutes before the gumbo is done, start cooking the rice to go with it – we use white basmati rice from Pakistan because it has the least amount of arsenic (soak for 10 minutes, rinse, then cook for 10 minutes) and it freezes really well, too
- freeze leftover gumbo and rice in separate containers (love these 1 1/2 cup glass containers from Crate & Barrel)
- for the frozen gumbo, defrost overnight in the fridge and cook in the microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes
- or defrost in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes, stopping about halfway through to transfer into another bowl (preferably with handles so it is easier to take in and out of the microwave) then break up with a fork, then fork it again after another 2 minutes and when fully defrosted heat on high for 4 minutes, stirring once at 2 minutes – hence the awesome gumbo bowl with handles 😍
Okay! Piece of cake, right?! Well I promise it is worth it my friends. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work with a little (or a lot) of Tabasco hot sauce for absolute perfection!
- 2.5 lb bone-in split natural chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup EVOO, ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup certified GF oat flour
- 2 cups diced organic onions
- 1 cup diced organic green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced organic celery
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 2 cups organic okra, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 cups chopped organic tomatoes
- 12 oz GFCF Andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 large dried organic bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried organic thyme
- 1 tsp dried organic basil
- 1/2 tsp dried organic sage
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp good salt + more to taste
- Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 3 - 4 quarts cold filtered water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then simmer for about 1 hour over medium heat, skimming impurities off the top as it simmers. Pull the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool, preferably in a bowl and cover with foil until ready to shred. Cover the broth and save until needed. Once cool enough shred the chicken and discard the bones.
- Meanwhile, mix the spices and set aside.
- Wash, rinse and dry the green bell pepper and tomatoes (if not canned) before prepping. Rinse the celery. If fire-roasting the tomatoes, cut in half, remove the cores and deseed. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Let cool a bit then remove the skins and chop. If using canned whole tomatoes, remove each tomato and cut out the core, deseed and chop. Save the tomato juice from the can. You need 2 cups/16 ounces of flesh and juice.
- Prep the Cajun mirepoix (diced celery, green bell pepper and onion) and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (EVOO) over medium high/high heat. Add the frozen or fresh okra and stir occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. Fry the okra until all the stickiness is gone.
- Slice the Andouille sausage and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, melt the EVOO (or ghee or coconut oil or a blend) over medium heat. Add the oat flour and stir continuously with a wooden or silicon spatula until a dark brown roux develops.
- Add the mirepoix - diced onions, celery and green bell peppers. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes, allowing the mixture to caramelize on the bottom to develop deep flavors.
- Add the tomatoes, fried okra and sausage. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the spices and stir.
- Strain the chicken broth and add it to the gumbo in the Dutch oven (as much as fits in the pot). Save the rest. Stir well and bring to a slow boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours. About an hour after cooking add the rest of the broth if there is room in the pot.
- Twenty minutes before serving add the shredded chicken and adjust the seasoning (usually about 1-2 tsp salt).
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Serve in a bowl with rice and a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
Hope you love it as much as I do! And I’m always here to help you out any way I can.