The Gumbo Shop's Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe

The Gumbo Shop is one of my family's favorite places to visit in New Orleans. On one of our first trips to the city, we just stopped in for dinner, and we were ushered through the courtyard to a small carriage house that sat a few tables. I think we all fell in love with our waiter, Michael, and his "dahlin"s and "sugar"s, and his genuine love for New Orleans. We also fell in love with the Gumbo Shop's food. Here's their signature recipe for Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo, with a few tweaks and tricks thrown in for added flavor. (Click here for their entire cookbook.  You'll want to have it on hand, trust me.) This recipe has been voted the "Best Gumbo in New Orleans" in the New Orleans Gambit for something like 10 years running, so I'm happy to share it with you. Enjoy!

2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs/legs
8 cups chicken broth
1 lb frozen okra (cut)
½ cup plus 2 Tbls. cooking oil
½ cup all purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped celery
1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes with green chilies
¾ lb Andouille sausage or Smoked Sausage, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. sage
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt

Remove the skin from the chicken. Cover chicken with water and simmer for about one hour until chicken is tender and easily removed from the bones. Allow chicken to cool, remove from bones and set aside.

As the chicken is cooking, chop the onion, pepper, and celery (aka, the Holy Trinity), and set aside.
Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch rounds, and set aside.

Thaw the okra, and saute in 2 tbs. of oil. You want to cook the okra until most of the ropiness is gone, and has caramelized a little on the bottom of the pot. I find that a thin-bottomed pot is best for this, because you really want some color and fancy cookery just doesn't allow you to burn things like your grandma's hand-me-down cast iron stock pot.

Once the okra is cooked, stir in the can of tomatoes. This will deglaze all of the caramelized okra, and incorporate it into your gumbo. Stir until all of the caramelized okra is released.
Next step: Making the roux! Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy bottomed pot. You want to use a metal spatula to stir the roux. Plastic spoons WILL melt, and wooden spoons often do not cover enough surface area. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in 1/2 cup flour a little at a time until it is all incorporated. To make a roux, you have to stir constantly for up to 45 minutes. (Trust me, it's worth it! Just make yourself a bloody mary and enjoy the simplicity of your life at this exact moment...just you, your bloody mary, and your roux.) Place the spatula flush on the bottom of the pot, and stir. And stir. And stir. And sip your drink. And stir.

I like a "chocolate roux," so called because of it's resemblance to chocolate. My mom likes what she calls a "peanut butter roux." The peanut butter roux takes probably 20 minutes less than the chocolate, and still tastes yummy. If you're not a seasoned roux-maker, and you have to jump ship early, at least stick with your stirring until it looks and smells like peanut butter.

As soon as the roux is finished, dump in the veggies and saute in the roux until soft. Feel free to let the veggies stick to the bottom of the pan a little. (Also, please note that this is the second thing I've told you to burn. Love, love, love making gumbo.)

When the veggies are done, add the sausage, and tomato and okra mixture. Cook for approx. 10 minutes. Add the spices, broth, and the chicken and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, simmer for 1 1/5 hour with the lid off. Taste and adjust should be herby and a little spicy. Serve over a small portion of rice, with hot sauce. And maybe another bloody mary, for good measure. You deserve it.
Tips and tricks:
  • This recipe freezes well, with our without rice, but the pepper seems to leech out so you'll want to add more when you reheat.
  • You can use canned chicken to save time.


  1. Just made my first gumbo and wish I had known you were supposed to use a metal spatula, burned the heck out of my wooden spoon making the roux! Also glad to hear your trick with the okra as I added my okra last and ended up with a very slimy stew. Still tasted good, but looked HORRIBLE! lol. Great photos. Love your site!

  2. Ellieut, Thanks for the compliments! I hope your next gumbo experience is a little less nerve-wracking. (I think the bloody mary is an important contribution to that goal.) Baconconcentrate is just a babyblog right now, but stick with me and watch it grow. Also, feel free to make suggestions!

  3. Great looking gumbo! Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your recipe. I had taken the sign up thing for our little partoff my blog already or I would have been happy to have you add your link as well. Hope you stopped by the other ladies blogs as well. I will have to spend some time looking around at your blog..the oyster poboy post title caught my eye!

  4. Thanks, Kevin! I'm a fan of your blog myself--I can't wait to make my own Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp!

  5. My wife and I have been cooking gumbo for years and have found out that the true taste of the gumbo comes from the carmelized okra. Its important not to skip this step. So be happy and Burn the damned okra----its ok

  6. I know this is an old post, but I just made this Gumbo following your recipe and I cannot tell you how nicely it turned out. It is delicious!. First time making Gumbo, but will definitely be making this one again!!! Thanks for the great step by step instructions and pictures.

  7. Trying this tonight and it smells phenomenal!