Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

"Gumbo is a veritable art form in Louisiana. There are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks." 
 (Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine) 

My grandmother always said that when she was little girl, they would make a gumbo with anything--ham, sausage, fish, shrimp.  
The most important part was the roux with the holy trinity
---celery, onions, and bell pepper.  

I make several different versions of gumbo, each of them different, but the main idea is usually the same.   
I hope that you enjoy this version. 

 Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo  
1 cup flour
1 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 quarts of chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 t. ground thyme
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 cup sliced okra 
A few dashes of hot sauce
A few dashes of worcestershire sauce
1 pound chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound sausage (I used Down Home)
1 pound medium shrimp
Cooked rice

In a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil.  Whisk in the flour until it becomes a deep brown, about 15 minutes.  Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock.  Add the thyme, cajun seasoning, bay leaves, okra, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  

(At this point, I usually taste the mixture and either add more stock or seasoning if needed.  Be careful not to over salt at this time.  The sausage will add some salt.)

Allow the mixture to cook for at least 30 minutes at a simmer to allow the flavors to meld.  

Add the chicken and cook until done.  Add the sausage and cook at least another 30 minutes.  

Add the shrimp the last 20 minutes of cooking.  Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig before serving.

Serve over rice.  It is also good with crusty french bread.


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