Chicken Gumbo

From Sophie Grigson, a classic American gumbo of chicken, garlic sausage and vegetables in a rich brown thickened soup.
By Sophie Grigson
Chicken Gumbo
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 chicken, large
  • 70 g plain flour
  • 450 g garlic sausages, or other smoked pork sausage skinned and cut into 1cm slices
  • 100 g cooked ham, diced
  • 400 g okra, topped, tailed and halved
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 stick celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1.9 litres water
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • salt

For the bouquet garni:

  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprig thyme


1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole or saucepan over high heat.

2. Brown the chicken pieces evenly in the oil and set aside.

3. Keeping the high heat, stir in the flour until evenly mixed with the oil.

4. Reduce heat and keep stirring, using a metal spoon to scrape the brown bits off the base of the pan. Stir for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture turns a dark nut brown.

5. Add the sausage, ham, vegetables, garlic and half the parsley. Stir for 1 minute, then add 150ml of the water.

6. Add the chicken pieces, cayenne, black pepper and a little salt to taste. Tie the bouquet garni herbs together with string, and add to the casserole.

7. Gradually pour in the remaining water. Bring to the boil, then simmer over gentle heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

8. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the bundle of herbs.

9. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.

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