A couple weeks ago, I got a request to make gumbo from devoted reader and Twitter-friend Dallas. I never turn down requests if I can avoid it, especially not yummy-sounding ones like gumbo. I’d never made gumbo before, so I took a pretty easy Cooking Light recipe and modified it to my liking. It’s a good starter recipe, and it’s mad tasty too. Some reviews of the original recipe complained it was bland, so I punched up the flavor and did things a little differently. Sorry vegetarians, this recipe isn’t for you—however, if you eat seafood, you can easily substitute shrimp in place of the chicken and sausage and use veggie stock instead of chicken stock. Let’s make some gumbo!
Round up your cast of characters. Not shown: flour, canola oil, onion, canned tomatoes. I apparently just like to leave things out of photos. I’m using packaged roast chicken breast strips, but you can buy whole roast chicken breasts from the store or roast your own. Also notice some healthy touches: brown rice instead of white (there’s basically no nutritional value to white rice; brown has protein and fiber); less-sodium chicken broth; and turkey smoked sausage instead of beef sausage. All these little things add up to one healthy meal.
The first thing you want to do is prepare your rice according to package instructions. While that boils, get your veggies ready. Dice up your onion and green pepper, and mince your garlic. Quick pro tip: a cup of onion is about half of a large onion, and a cup of any type of bell pepper is about a whole regular-sized pepper.
Also chop up your celery. This was about two ribs. Does anyone else just love chopping celery? I find the sound so satisfying! I just love choppin’ things.
Now, heat your oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Mix in your flour, stirring vigorously so as to not burn it. Saute this for about three minutes. You’re basically making a roux, which will thicken your gumbo; at this point you just want to cook out the raw flour taste. .
Then, dump in your veggies and spices (ground cayenne red pepper, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, and Creole seasoning). Mix it all up well so the spices are well-distributed, then saute for another three minutes.
Chop up your sausage. You could cut these just in 1/2-inch chunks on the bias (at an angle), but I decided I wanted mine a bit more bite-sized. I cut them on the bias and then chopped those chunks in half.
Now, dump your sausage, chicken, tomatoes, and chicken stock in your pot. Give it a good stir, then cover it and let it just go for the next six minutes. It’s fine to let it boil; it’s going to thicken up and plump up all the meat and veg.
Mmm, gumbo goodness!
Now serve over your cooked rice. A serving is about a cup and a half of gumbo and a half cup of rice, and this stuff is filling, yo.
This gumbo is spicy, but it’s a slow burn. It builds as you eat. If you’re really into spiciness, feel free to throw in an extra few dashes of cayenne, Creole seasoning, or even add some of your favorite hot sauce! Just make sure to taste as you go so you know when to stop.
I was really pleased with this dish. It was super simple to make, so it’s great for beginning cooks that want to try something really homemade—but without it being overwhelming. It’s so warm and hearty, with just the right amount of kick. I’m definitely looking forward to leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch! And this will be a recipe I’ll make again once the weather gets a little colder; it’s sure to warm you right up. Enjoy!
Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
Modified from Cooking Light
Serves 4 (1 1/2 cups gumbo, 1/2 cup rice)
- 1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chacere’s)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
- 8 ounces turkey kielbasa/smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onion
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While rice cooks, combine flour and oil in a Dutch oven; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (onion through red pepper flakes); cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes, and broth; cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.
Calories: 369 (28% from fat)