Yumbo gumbo! Today I’m sharing a favorite recipe that my mom and dad always make for us when we visit VA in the winter time – smokey chicken and sausage gumbo with crispy roasted potatoes.
With Fat Tuesday being right around the corner (ahem – it’s next week!), I thought it’d be appropriate to add little Cajun spice to my blog recipe repertoire. I love making Cajun food in February – likely because of the power of suggestion. My social media feeds are always filled with pictures of beignets, king cake, and Mardi Gras parades this time of year. And because I grew up with this style of cooking making an appearance in many of our family weeknight dinners.
We have my dad to thank for this foundation of Cajun cuisine – he was born in Louisiana and grew up in Alabama. He was always the instigator behind many one-pot gumbo or red beans + rice dinners on our family table. Funny side note – somewhere along the way, my siblings and I started adding cheese to our red beans and rice. Copious amounts of cheese – so much so that our plates ending up looking like one big glop of cheese with a little beans and a little rice! I’m happy to say I’ve grown out of that.
This chicken and sausage gumbo is a specialty of mom and dad’s that I always request to be on the menu when we visit them in VA. The thing that makes theirs extra special and unique is the fact that my dad uses the richest of chicken stocks in the gumbo base. My mom will make the stock from the chickens that he smokes every now and then. It adds the most delicious depth of flavor that you can’t really replicate any other way.
I’ve always been hesitant to try making their gumbo on my own for fear that it just would not taste the same. You know what I mean? We all have recipes we make that were passed down from our parents and grandparents that just don’t taste the same way that it did when they made it for us. My Nana’s biscuits will never taste the way they did when she made them. And I’ll always prefer the whole-wheat chocolate chip pancakes my mom makes on her perfectly seasoned electric griddle that’s much older than I am.
I finally worked up the gumption to attempt the chicken and sausage gumbo in my own kitchen a few weeks ago; only after calling my mom to verify ingredient instructions, measurements, etc. so I didn’t mess things up! Ryan and I bought a smoker/kamado grill this past summer, so I now have the ability to make smoked chicken stock and use it in this recipe. It really does make all the difference – however – Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock will be your next best bet.
If you make this, get excited about the fact that you will have simply scrumptious leftovers ready for your enjoyment several days afterward. I’d highly recommend serving it with bananas foster for dessert – it’s simple enough to whip up in minutes and will be the perfect finishing touch to this Cajun-style meal.
Did you make this chicken and sausage gumbo? If so, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or upload a picture to Insta or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5.3