Traditional gumbo is served over a bed of rice. This Chicken and Sausage Idaho® Potato Gumbo, skips the rice and adds potato to make a thick and hearty soup. Sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission.
This is the second recipe that I am sharing with you for the promotion with the Idaho Potato Commission where I was asked to develop four recipes using a 10-pound bag of Idaho Potatoes that would feed a family of four for $25. Last week I shared my twist on two classic recipes: Chicken Pot Shepard’s Pie. Today I am adding a twist to another classic dish: gumbo!
I am an oil brat. My parents both worked in the oil industry, and I was born in New Orleans. We only lived there my first four years of life, but for some odd reason, I wear that Cajun badge proudly. (I will always root for the New Orleans Saints, ya’ll).
Now I grew up in Houston, Texas, but living off the Gulf Coast meant we had a plethora of cuisines to choose from. And since my mom was an avid cook, it’s not too surprising that shrimp scampi and etoufee often made an appearance at our family dinner table.
But for gumbo, we relied on our dear Southern friends for this authentic meal. This potato gumbo is my twist of an iconic recipe that I adore.
What is gumbo?
Gumbo is a seafood (or not) soup (or stew) served alone (or with rice). Yes, gumbo comes in a variety of different textures, flavors and even consistencies. In its most common form, it is a thick soup with andouille sausage and rice.
A pot of gumbo almost always begins with the roux, melted butter with flour stirred in and then slowly browned to various degrees of brown. I go into more details about roux in the next section of this post.
It is also served a little thicker, like a stew, and then served over rice. While I researched more about gumbo, I found people are very passionate about their gumbo recipes and traditions, and conflicting opinions were everywhere.
To add okra or not? To add tomatoes or not? Thicken with roux or with file? It goes on and on!
After a few disappointing rounds with gumbo, I decided to add the flavors and ingredients that I wanted and add my own special touch. Instead of serving this chicken and sausage gumbo over rice, I decided it was better, healthier and more delicious with potatoes.
Now of the four recipes I created using 10-lbs of potatoes and only spending $25, this potato gumbo is the priciest, costing $9.18. But, you are not skimping on flavor and you certainly aren’t going to leave hungry. This recipe actually makes 6-servings, not 4, and it’s stick-to-your-ribs kinda servings, too.
What is roux?
Roux is a French culinary term for the browning and cooking of melted butter mixed with flour. This paste is cooked slowly, as you do not want to burn it, as it transforms its color from caramel to chocolate brown.
Now roux is typically equal parts flour and butter heated together to make a paste. You can also make roux using oil. I chose to use olive oil, of course.
You cook the paste over medium heat to the desired color you like. Some prefer a dark chocolate color roux, others prefer lighter.
I made mine a caramel color because the darker roux made well, an unattractive looking potato gumbo. It is also easy to burn the roux when you get to the darker color, and no one wants to taste that in their potato gumbo.
What meats to use in gumbo?
Whether you are making gumbo with potatoes or without, you can vary the meat you want to feature. Andouille sausage is almost always included in gumbo. It adds spice and tremendous flavor to your dish.
You can add shrimp or crawfish to your gumbo, if you like seafood. But since I was creating an economical dish, I chose chicken.
This potato gumbo is the most time consuming dish I created in the 4/4/$25 promotion. But like most good soups and stews, the longer the potato gumbo cooks, the better and deeper the flavor.
You can adjust the spice level to your preference, but I like a small bit of kick, nothing too overpowering – especially since my 13-year old son loves gumbo and I can’t make it too spicy for him.
You can use fresh okra for this recipe, but I found frozen okra to be very affordable and priced less than fresh. Plus fresh okra is not always readily available in grocery stores.
The most expensive ingredient I had in this recipe was the sausage. For gumbo, you want to choose an andouille sausage, which is a cajun sausage and is typically spicy. You can also use keilbasa, which is less expensive and not as spicy.
So next time you have an envie (craving) for some gumbo, cher (dear), try something a little different. I know this potato gumbo isn’t authentic gumbo, but it’s my twist on the classic chicken and sausage gumbo. And it’s really delicious.
Laissez les bon temps rouler! (let the good times roll)
- 1 chicken breast, diced (approximately 1lb)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped onions
- ½ cup celery
- ½ cup green bell pepper
- 2 ½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 2 oz tomato paste
- 8 oz andouille sausage, chopped (can also use kielbasa)
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground thyme
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb frozen chopped okra, thawed
- Season both sides of chicken breast with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat add 1 TBS oil.
- When oil is hot add chicken and cook until evenly browned.
- Transfer chicken to a bowl and reserve.
- Add 2 TBS oil to the hot pot and stir in flour.
- Stir until a paste is formed and reduce heat to medium. Continue stirring and cooking until roux thickens and color is a dark caramel color, about 15-20 minutes.
- Stir onions into the paste.
- When onions have softened, stir in celery, bell pepper, potatoes and garlic.
- Cook vegetables for 5-7 minutes then add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Scrape the browned bits off from the bottom of the pot.
- Add sausage, bay leaves, paprika, thyme and cayenne pepper to the pot.
- Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook for 1 hour.
- Stir in reserved chicken and okra.
- Cover pot and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Do not overcook okra or it will turn mushy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 1269mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 20g