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Food And Nutrition

Preparing Classic Chicken Gumbo Recipe



his hearty soup is a basic Creole-style chicken gumbo made with tomatoes and the essential “holy trinity” of Cajun and Creole cooking: onions, bell peppers, and celery. The gumbo is flavorful, thanks to a mix of spices, and an excellent option if you’re looking for an authentic yet uncomplicated Louisiana-style soup.

The okra is the thickener for a good Creole gumbo, but if you like filé powder, offer it at the table. Gumbo can become unpleasantly stringy if the filé is added to the soup while it is still on the heat (or when reheated). It is best sprinkled over individual servings.

“This chicken gumbo uses only common kitchen staples and is surprisingly simple and enjoyable to make. The recipe requires a lot of stirring, so make sure everything’s prepped before you start. Considering the ingredient list, the dishes were minimal. The flavor balance is perfect and it’s hearty enough to be a one-dish meal.” —Colleen Graham


  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or oil)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts (or boneless thighs)
  • Chopped fresh parsley, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish
  • Filé powder, for serving, optional
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  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic chicken gumbo ingredients
  2. Peel and chop the onions.

    Chopped onion
  3. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise; remove the seeds and stem. Cut the pepper into 1/4-inch dice.

    Diced bell pepper
  4. Chop the celery. Set the vegetables aside.

    Chopped celery
  5. For the roux, melt the shortening in a large Dutch oven over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until medium brown—about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the roux constantly to avoid burning. If it burns, you will have to start over.

    Roux ingredients in a deep pot
  6. Add the chopped vegetables to the roux, adjust the heat to medium-low to medium, and continue to cook, constantly stirring, until the onion is translucent.

    Chopped vegetables cooking in roux in a pot
  7. Slowly add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.

    Vegetables and chicken broth in a pot
  8. Add the diced tomatoes, okra, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaf; bring to a boil.

    Spices and okra added to soup pot
  9. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

    Gumbo simmering in a pot
  10. Meanwhile, cook the rice following the package directions. Set aside and keep warm.

    Cooked white rice in a pot
  11. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

    Cut chicken
  12. Add the chicken to the soup and cook, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, as needed.

    Chicken added to gumbo pot
  13. To serve, scoop a mound of rice into the center of each of the four large, shallow bowls. Ladle the soup around the rice. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and/or green onion tops, if desired.

    Classic chicken gumbo with rice
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Food And Nutrition

Cullen skink




Cullen skink is a classic Scottish smoked fish soup with velvety leeks and potato. Perfectly warming for winter.


For the stock

  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • leeks, roughly chopped
  • onions, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • 250ml/9fl oz white wine
  • 500g/17½oz smoked haddock
  • 750ml/1 pint 7fl oz water

For the soup

  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 300g/10½oz potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 500ml/17½fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg


  1. For the stock, heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large pan and gently fry the leeks, onions and fennel for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

  2. Add the white wine to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the smoked haddock, pour in the water and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, until the haddock is cooked through.

  3. Strain the haddock, reserving the cooking stock. Chop the haddock into bite-sized pieces.

  4. For the soup, heat the butter with the vegetable oil and fry the leeks, shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add the potatoes and the chopped smoked haddock to the pan.

  5. Add the reserved cooking stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and briefly blend the soup with a stick blender.

  6. Serve the soup with crusty bread and sprinkle with the chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

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Food And Nutrition

Oxtail stew




This really rich oxtail stew recipe makes the most of this economical cut of meat for a British classic.


  • 1.3kg/3lb oxtail, cut into chunky pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3–4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4–5 sprigs thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300ml/½pint red wine
  • 500ml/18fl oz beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, to serve (optional)
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Food And Nutrition

Pancakes with Parma ham and asparagus




This savoury pancake recipe is a really special brunch, lunch or dinner. Asparagus and Parma ham is a great combination – only bettered with an additional dollop of homemade hollandaise sauce.


For the pancake batter

  • 100g/3½oz flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • large pinch salt
  • 250ml/9fl oz milk
  • 50g/1¾oz melted butter

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 Parma ham slices
  • 16 asparagus spears


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and preheat the grill to high.

  2. For the pancake batter, place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk in the flour. Add the salt and half of the milk. Finally, whisk in the butter and remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  3. Melt a small knob of butter in a 20cm/8in non-stick frying pan. Once it is hot and sizzling pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. After 30 seconds you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over, cook the other side for a few seconds, and then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

  4. Without greasing the pan again, repeat the process in stage three to make eight thin pancakes.

  5. For the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water in a stainless steel saucepan set over a very low heat, until thick and smooth.

  6. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk while adding the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black peper and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.

  7. Boil the asparagus in salted water until tender. Once cooked, refresh the asparagus in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.

  8. To assemble the délices, place a slice of ham on top of a pancake, then arrange three asparagus spears upon it. Roll up and place into a lightly buttered baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, parma ham and asparagus. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to crisp at the edges.

  9. Serve the délices on a serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat.

READ ALSO  Crock Pot Chicken Livers With Mushrooms and Bacon
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