Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo #glutenfree #caseinfree
It’s Gumbo Time!
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 sausage gumbo was in NOLA at The Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter. 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 (but not gluten free).
As it turns out that gumbo is an award winning recipe and you can order it online! But since I can’t eat gluten or dairy/casein anymore, ordering it online isn’t an option for me.
So you can only imagine my extreme joy when The Gumbo Shop published a cookbook with the recipe for their fabulous chicken andouille sausage gumbo! And so I’ve made it over and over and over again since I bought the cookbook in October of 2010. Yes, I really do love this gumbo!
GF Flour & Fat = Roux
But what types do we use in the GF, DF version?
I’ve tried to make a roux with butter (pre-casein/dairy free days), coconut oil, ghee and olive oil. All work perfectly well as the fat but I prefer using high quality EVOO/ghee or coconut oil/ghee mixture. 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. But almost any gluten free flour should work. I usually avoid flours that contain xanthan gum.
- oat flour makes a weird looking roux, kind of dry and crumbly, but it will be okay when the veg (Mirepoix) is added
- if using olive oil as the fat, make sure it is good quality/pure and has a high smoke point but you’ll get better results and less chance of burning it by blending it with another fat
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 has magical healing powers.
Tips & Tricks
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. These are 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)
- another option is roasting a chicken and using chicken stock/water (you can also add in the drippings minus the fat for even more flavor)
The Roux & Mirepoix
If this is your first time making a roux, you should consider doing a TEST RUN with equal parts of the oil and flour you will be using. You want 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
- 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
- stir the roux continuously until it turns the right color – since the oat flour cooks really fast, don’t leave it to do something else once you get it going
- once the mirepoix is added you can stir less frequently
The Sausage, Fried Okra & Tomatoes
Add the tomatoes, fried okra and sausage next and cook for about 15 minutes before adding the spices and chicken broth. Here you also don’t stir constantly but rather let it brown on the bottom and scrape up the burnt bits. I like to prep the okra before starting the roux and set it aside until this step. Sometimes I prep the tomatoes beforehand, too. I usually cut the sausage while the roux/mirepoix is cooking.
- fire-roast about 8-10 fresh large Roma tomatoes under the oven broiler, let cool, peel off the skin and chop
- optionally use canned tomatoes for a total of 16 ounces/2 cups after removing cores and seeds (start with a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes or 16 oz can diced tomatoes)
- frying fresh or frozen okra 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 usually use
Spices, Chicken & Broth
The gumbo takes another 1 1/2 hours to cook after adding the spices and broth. The chicken is added during the last 15-20 minutes.
- keep the chicken on the bone in a bowl covered with foil until ready to shred
- add the first quart of chicken broth and spices and stir well to scrape everything off the bottom of the pot and then add the rest of the broth
- it can’t hurt to add extra broth as the gumbo cooks down so save your chicken water
Serve it with Rice & Freeze The Leftovers
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 the rice for about 10 minutes, rinse well with filtered water, and then cook for 10 minutes in water with a splash of olive oil.
I love freezing the leftover gumbo in these 1 1/2 cup glass containers from Crate & Barrel. When freezing the gumbo, cool it an ice bath to reduce the temperature before transferring to storage containers then freezing. If you are also freezing rice, store it in separate containers.
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 or Frank’s RedHot hot sauce for absolute perfection! Hope you love it as much as I do! And I’m always here to help you out any way I can.
- 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.