Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

John Besh

Besh Restaurant Group, New Orleans

"How you make your gumbo depends on where you come from. Those of us within eyesight of New Orleans like the rich, deep flavor of a Creole gumbo. We use tomatoes or tomato paste, which you’d never see in a gumbo from Cajun country. And for me, it’s not a real gumbo without okra; fresh is better, but out of season, frozen will do in a pinch." — John Besh

Adapted from Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing


  • 3/4 cup chicken fat or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 large onions, chopped 
  • 1 large chicken, cut into 12 pieces 
  • 2 tablespoons Creole Spice 
  • 2 pounds spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 3 quarts chicken stock 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups sliced okra
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire 
  • Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups cooked white rice 


Make a roux by heating the fat in a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot fat. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium and continue whisking until the roux turns a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux turns a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.

Season the chicken pieces with the Creole Spice and add the chicken to the hot roux. Once the chicken is well-seared, add the spicy smoked sausage and stir well. Then add the garlic, celery, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium-high, stir for another 3 minutes or so, then add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme.

Bring the gumbo to a boil while stirring, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo (moving the pot half off the burner helps collect the impurities). 

Add the andouille sausage, okra, and Worcestershire. Season well with Tabasco, salt, and pepper, then simmer for another 45 minutes. Skim the gumbo before serving with the white rice.


10 servings