Chicken Gumbo With Rice

chicken soup with rice
Leah Maroney
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
551 Calories
26g Fat
46g Carbs
33g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 551
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 410mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 33g
Calcium 114mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's nothing quite as satisfying as chicken gumbo with rice. Whether it's on a cold and wintery day, when your not feeling well, or just because, there's just something about this dish that warms your stomach and your soul!

Here, we've created a fun way to jazz up this traditional, hearty bowl of gumbo with adorable little rice characters. It's perfect for kids or your even your own inner child!

You can use any chicken soup recipe that you prefer and just simply add the sushi rice characters to the top. However, we've included a recipe for a thick and hearty chicken gumbo that holds up perfectly for the rice and your soup cravings. 


  • Chicken Gumbo:
  • 1 small whole fryer chicken
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 pound pork kielbasa (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and diced)
  • 1 rib celery (diced)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (16 oz.) can whole plum tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Optional: Hot sauce
  • Rice:
  • 1 cup sushi rice (cooked according to package directions)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the breasts and thigh meat off of the whole chicken and set aside.

  3. Heat olive oil in a large pot (about 16 QT) and add the chicken carcass. 

  4. Brown the chicken on all sides and then fill the pot with the 5 cups of water. 

  5. Heat on medium-high heat, to bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to continue to simmer while you prepare the rest of the gumbo.

  6. Heat a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven on medium-high heat. 

  7. Add the kielbasa and cook until browned. Remove the kielbasa from the pot and place in a plate or bowl for later.

  8. Remove the skin from the breasts and thighs, dice and add it to the pot where you cooked the kielbasa. Cook until browned on all sides.  Remove from the pot and set aside with the cooked kielbasa. 

  9. Add the olive oil and butter to the pot and add the onion, carrots, parsley and celery.  Cook until lightly browned and remove from the pot (add it to the plate with the reserved kielbasa).  Leave the oil in the pot.  

  10. Add the flour to the pot and stir with a whisk, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the roux is a deep brown, about 45 minutes. 

  11. Add the meat, and vegetables back to the pot, keeping the heat on medium.  Stir in the paprika, Worcestershire and onion powder. 

  12. Add the plum tomatoes, break them up in the pot until they are in smaller pieces. 

  13. Strain the carcass from the chicken broth (pick out any extra meat that was cooked on the carcass and add it to the broth.) 

  14. Add the broth and bay leaves to the meat and vegetables. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes (or longer), until the broth is thickened and rich.  Add salt and hot sauce to taste.

  15. Whisk the salt and vinegar together and pour over the warm, cooked rice, stirring to coat.  

  16. Cut the sushi nori into eye and mouth shapes using scissors. 

  17. For each bowl of soup, roll two balls of rice to make each face and four smaller balls to make feet and hands. Press the nori eyes and mouth onto each of the larger balls. 

  18. Ladle the soup into bowls and place the rice balls on top. It works best if the soup is not steaming hot, so that the rice doesn't break apart right away. 

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