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Creating the dark roux used in Cajun and Creole dishes, like gumbo, is time-consuming  but it’s key: Dark roux contributes the signature flavor of these stews.  The darker a roux gets, the more it must be stirred, because it burns easily once it passes  medium brown. Gumbo comes in many forms, including shrimp, crawfish, and okra.  This recipe is a basic meaty gumbo that you can easily adapt.


Yield: Serves 8 to 10

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

4 ribs celery, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ cup vegetable oil

1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds

1 cup all-purpose flour

8 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock

2 dried bay leaves Cooked rice, for serving

1 bunch scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced


Based on 6 ratings

Preparation Method

  1. Toss the chicken with the Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl and set aside. In another medium bowl, toss together the celery, onion, and bell pepper with the salt and cayenne; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until the fat begins to render.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides. (The chicken won’t be cooked all the way through.) Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons oil to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. Once the oil shimmers, add the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Continue cooking, stirring often, being sure that the wooden spoon reaches the edges of the pot so that the roux doesn’t burn. Once the mixture begins to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring often, until the roux is deep brown, about 40 minutes.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and add the celery, onion, and bell pepper.
  7. The roux will steam and splatter a little, but continue to cook the vegetables, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Return the sausage and chicken to the pot and stir to combine.
  9. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to incorporate it and making sure to trail the spoon around the edges of the pot to ensure nothing is stuck at the bottom.
  10. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off any oil that might rise to the top.
  11. Remove bay leaves, serve over rice, and sprinkle with scallions.

Pro Tip
When you know you want to thicken a stew or soup, you can sprinkle flour over onions or aromatic vegetables as you’re sautéing them to make a cheater roux.