St. Charles Street Chicken Gumbo Recipe

St. Charles Street Chicken GumboAbout four years ago, I realized that we didn't have a good recipe for chicken gumbo. So I found 4 or 5 recipes and combined parts from each of them to make the one that I'm listing in this post. Since then, my family and I have been kicking off Fat Tuesday with a huge pot of this chicken gumbo.

I wanted it to try to replicate the taste of the gumbo served at Heaven on Seven, a great Cajun restaurant located on Wabash Street in Chicago. Although this recipe is not quite as good as the Heaven on Seven version, it does come close.

Preparing chicken gumbo is a little labor intensive since we are making the chicken stock from scratch. It will take a couple of hours from start to finish. But hopefully it will be worth the effort. Just put on a Clifton Chenier CD and be patient. There is nothing better than a hearty dish like this in early March!!

Recommended Equipment:
Large, deep stockpot. A pasta cooker is ideal as you can use the strainer to strain the spent vegetables when making the broth.

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 package of andoullie sausage (about a pound)
1 pitcher of water
1 whole chicken cut into major parts (wings, thighs, breasts, etc.) - do not remove the skin
2 tspn basil
1 bay leaf
1 tspn black pepper
2 tspn cayenne pepper
8 black pepper corns
1 tspn kosher salt
2 tspn thyme
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 ribs of celery, diced
7 cloves of garlic, diced
3 cups of okra, sliced into wheels
4 medium yellow onions, diced
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup of white wine

  1. Add chicken, 2 carrots, parsley, 2 onion, bay leaf, 2 ribs of celery, white wine, pepper corns, kosher salt, and black pepper to the pot and cover with water (about 1 pitcher).
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Using tongs, remove chicken and let it cool in a bowl.
  4. Strain the remaining chicken stock into a large container and discard any vegetables that the strainer catches. You will use the stock in the gumbo later.
  5. Wipe the pot clean as you will need to use it again later.
  6. Remove the meat from the chicken bones and set it aside to add to the gumbo later.
  7. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add okra to the skillet and cook until it is no longer sticky (about 20 minutes), stirring often. Then set the okra aside.
  9. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup of flour to the cleaned pot over medium heat. Stir frequently until it becomes a deep, golden brown roux (about 30 minutes). It should look like the color of peanut butter.
  10. Add remaining 2 diced yellow onions, bell pepper, 3 remaining rips of diced celery, and garlic to the roux and stir until soft.
  11. Add about 4 to 5 cups of reserved chicken stock to the pot containing the roux.
  12. Add the okra, tomatoes, sausage, basil, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
  13. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 1 and a half hours.
  14. Add chicken to the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  15. Serve in bowls over white rice and season with McIlhenny's Tobasco Sauce.
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