Skip to main content

Cajun Gumbo with Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp + 2018 Maricool Muscadet

In preparation for our February's #SoupSwappers event, I decided that I was finally going to get to the bottom of the difference between Cajun and Creole gumbo. Given that most of my circles were also confused about the distinctions, I don't feel badly that I was less than informed. But I am fixing that this month.

I started with a Cajun gumbo...and will highlight the differences - and share my Creole gumbo recipe - come February. For now, here's my Cajun gumbo.

In the Bowl

While confusion abounds about the difference between Cajun and Creole, I found that Cajun gumbo is characterized by a deeply hued roux without tomatoes. It's more of a savory gravy with the holy trinity of onions, peppers, and celery, seasoned with cayenne and thickened with okra and filé powder. And the proteins seemed flexible; I opted for chicken, andouille sausage, and plump shrimp.


  • 1 C oil (I used canola)
  • 1 C flour
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 to 4 spicy andouille sausage links, sliced into 1/2" coins
  • 1-1/2 C organic yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 1-1/2 C bell peppers, diced (I used red and yellow which is not traditional)
  • 1-1/2 C organic celery, diced
  • 1/2 C organic carrots, diced (these are not traditional)
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 to 4 C fresh okra, sliced into 1/2" lengths
  • 1 pound cleaned, deveined shrimp
  • filé powder, plus more as needed for serving
  • Also needed: cooked rice and hot sauce for serving


In a large heavy pot (I used my Dutch oven), heat 1 T oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sear chicken until browned on both sides, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Once chicken has cooled enough to handle it, shred meat into bite-size pieces.

Add sliced andouille to the same pot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate and set aside with the chicken.

Add remaining oil to the pot along with the flour. Stir to form a paste, then lower heat to medium-low and cook until the roux is a deep chestnut color. Stir frequently so it doesn't scorch. This process might take about an hour. 

In another pot, add onions, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Cook over medium heat until softened, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cayenne, and a hefty amount of black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then fold all of that into the roux.

Pour in the stock and add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a gentle simmer, then allow to cook uncovered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally so the bottom doesn't scorch. Add in the okra, sausage, and shredded chicken. Cook for another hour. During the last ten minutes, place the shrimp on top of the stew and press down so that they are submerged. Cover to steam the shrimp. Once the shrimp is pink and opaque, remove from heat.

Add filé powder. Season to taste with salt, if needed. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

To serve, ladle gumbo into individual serving bowls with steamed rice. Allow diners to sprinkle on more filé and top with hot sauce at the table, if they wish.

In the Glass

When I was looking for a wine to pair with my Cajun gumbo, I came across the Maricool Muscadet 2018. A white wine from the Loire Valley in France, at less than $5, if was a steal! Made with the Melon de Bourgogne grape, I was pleased that the Muscadet was not, as I had initially thought related to Moscato which I usually find sticky and sweet.

This Muscadet poured a pale straw color. On the nose, it was lightly fruity with a stronger note of lime. Though light-bodied, the wine had balanced acidity and a sensation of savory that was surprising. Its lingering acid was a nice contrast to the almost unctuous gumbo.


Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur