Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Chicken gumbo with rice.
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
492 Calories
27g Fat
27g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 492
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 1131mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 34g
Calcium 135mg 10%
*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.)

Gumbo has the reputation that making it is an all-day, involved project. It does not have to be—you can make an easy version of gumbo, the popular Creole stew, in the slow cooker. Sure, gumbo always takes time, with a slow cooker though, it becomes a hands-off affair.

Like all good gumbos, this recipe starts with a roux; it is the indispensable foundation of the dish. The darker the roux, the more flavor. Because gumbo is a dish with bold flavors, the roux should be a dark reddish-brown. This takes time, and you do not want to hasten the cooking of the roux and turn up the heat too much, otherwise it will burn. Getting the desired roux color takes about 25 minutes, but that's about all the extra preparation involved in this recipe. All you need to do after the roux is done and has cooled down is place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and eight hours later (or five hours later if you cook it on high), you can sit down for dinner.

The flavor in gumbo comes from the smoked sausage. Andouille, the Cajun sausage, is the classic choice, but you can also use another smoked sausage. Because the smoked sausage is already salty, just a dash of salt is usually enough, so make sure to taste before adding more.

The other signature ingredient in gumbo is okra. While in other dishes, the mucilage in okra is unwelcome, and cooks take extra steps to remove its sliminess, in gumbo, this is just what you want because it naturally thickens the stew. For gumbo, you use the sliced okra as is.

Gumbo is also a great way to use leftover cooked diced chicken, such as from rotisserie chicken. If you'd like extra protein in your gumbo, you can also add about 1/2 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time. Once the gumbo is ready, it's a good idea to skim off the fat that has accumulated at the top.

The traditional accompaniment for gumbo is cooked or steamed plain white rice. To have the rice ready when the gumbo is done, start making it about 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. In addition to the rice, you can also serve the gumbo with a green salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil (a neutral-flavor oil, such as corn oil or canola)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 12 to 16 ounces smoked sausage (spicy sausage, such as andouille), sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 to 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash of salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Steps to Make It

For the Roux

  1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan stir together flour and oil until smooth.

  2. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Reduce heat to medium.

  4. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes more or until roux is dark reddish brown.

  5. Let the roux cool.

For the Gumbo

  1. Add chicken broth to a 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the roux.

  2. Add sausage, chicken, okra, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper.

  3. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

  4. Skim off fat. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variation

For a Creole-style gumbo, add one medium-sized tomato, chopped, to the mixture when you add the other ingredients.