I started making gumbo following Emeril’s recipe and gradually modified it to fit my taste. This is a chicken and sausage gumbo but you could easily add shrimp towards the end if you’d like.
- 1 cup vegetable/canola oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1-2 onions, white or yellow, roughly chopped
- 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 lb smoked sausage (whichever flavor or heat you prefer, I’ve even used chicken sausage), sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped or minced-it’ll cook down
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 cups of chicken broth
- 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 3-4 tbsp cajun seasoning (recipe at bottom)
First you’ll want to turn your slow cooker on low and add about a cup of chicken broth to get that nice and warm. Then you’ll make a roux with the oil and flour. To do this, get a flat bottom pan, and heat the mixture over low/medium low heat, whisking constantly. (In the beginning you can let it go again but once it starts to change colors and thicken up you’ll want to keep a very close eye on it so it doesn’t burn or get clumpy). This part takes the longest, usually about 30-35 minutes for me but it’ll depend on your pan and your heat level. You want to cook the roux until it turns a chocolate brown color. The deeper the color, the deeper the flavor.
Once your roux is dark enough, add your veggies (carefully!). Wilt the veggies for a few minutes, stirring with the roux. Then add this to the slow cooker. Stir into the broth, loosening the roux, avoiding any clumps.
To the same skillet, add the sliced sausage over medium/low heat, stirring, rendering some of the fat from the sausage. Once the sausage is looking juicy, go ahead and add the garlic, for just a minute or so, until you can smell it. Add that to the slow cooker with the veggies and give it all a good stir.
Now you can add some more broth, just to cover the veggies and sausage and mix that all up really good.
Coat the chicken with the cajun seasoning and bring that to the party. Add your bay leaves, and stick the lid on!
Cook 6-8 hours on low. Usually about a half hour before serving, I taste it and adjust my seasoning as needed. I like mine spicy, so I usually wind up adding a little cayenne pepper.
Serve with rice or crusty french bread. Top with chopped parsley and sliced green onions.
Cajun Seasoning (Emeril’s Rustic Rub)
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp cayenne
- 2 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 1/4 tbsp oregano
- 1 1/4 tbsp thyme
I mix all of these in an empty bouillon cube jar. It makes about 1 cup. It’s really good as a grilled steak or chicken seasoning also!