A Deliciously Tasty Chicken Gumbo Soup Recipe

In Louisiana, folks take their gumbo seriously. Chefs of all types take great pride in creating the best versions of their state’s official dish. It’s almost like a religious experience, with a vegetable trio called “the holy trinity” and an infamous list called “The 10 Commandments of Gumbo”.

The thick soup even has its hand in the weather. According to lore, if you stir your gumbo counterclockwise, there will be a quiet hurricane season.

So what exactly is gumbo? It’s a thick soup or thin stew (depending on your preference) that’s made with meat or seafood, vegetables, and a thick gravy called a roux. Gumbo has its roots with the Creole people of the Louisiana region.

Creole cuisine is a fascinating mix of African, French, Spanish, and English cooking techniques. The word gumbo comes from the African word “gombo” which means okra, an essential ingredient in the dish.

Over the years, gumbo has become known as a tasty, hearty, and nutritious meal. There are many versions, containing various types of meat and seafood. Our tasty take includes chicken and a variety of flavors your tastebuds are sure to love.

A Deliciously Tasty Chicken Gumbo Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Total: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Serves: 10 to 12


  • 4 pounds of chicken thighs (with skin)
  • 1/3 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 4 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 1 extra large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 pound of okra, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (or so) of Cajun spice (store bought is fine, but the recipe for homemade is just below)

For The Cajun Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic


1. In a large stew pot, cook your bacon over a medium heat and cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove it from the pot and save it for later.

2. Place the chicken thighs skin down in the pot, and salt them. Cook for about 5 minutes and then turn them. Remove and set them aside for later. It’s important to cook them skin down first in order to get more fat for the roux.

3. You should have about a half cup of fat (add some oil if you don’t). Add in your 1 cup of flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir every 2-3 minutes, and cook the roux until it turns dark. A good roux is at least the color of coffee with a splash of cream.

4. While the roux is cooking, bring your stock and water to a boil in a separate pot.

5. Add in the bell pepper, onion, and celery to the roux and stir for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and tomato paste.

6. Ladle the stock into the gumbo and stir in some Cajun spice. Add more stock and scrape the bottom of the gumbo pot to combine the roux and the stock.

7. Keep adding stock until the gumbo is a bit more watery than you want it to be, as it thickens as it cooks.

8. Taste the gumbo and add more Cajun spice if needed.

9. Lower the heat and add the chicken. You can discard the skin, or chop it up a add it to the soup. Let the soup simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

10. While the chicken is cooking, chop up the okra and add it to the gumbo.

11. Remove the chicken and remove the meat from the bone, then mix it back in. Cook on a simmer for about another hour or so, depending how cooked down you want it to be.

12. Add the bacon, green onion, and parsley before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • calories: 709
  • fat: 52 grams
  • carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • protein: 30 grams
  • cholesterol: 206 milligrams
  • sodium: 2029
  • sugar: 4 grams
  • calcium: 80 milligrams
  • iron: 3 milligrams

What Are Some Of The Rules Of Gumbo Cooking?

If you want the perfect gumbo, you have to follow the strict rules set down by the folks in Louisiana. From the Bayou’s to the parishes, people follow what they call the “commandments”, that of gumbo cooking. So if you want the perfect gumbo too, they include:

1. No corn, green beans, or carrots. It’s simply not done.

2. No tomatoes. Gumbo is NOT a tomato-based creation.

3. Don’t mix meat and seafood. You can have delicious chicken, pork, shrimp, or crab gumbo, just not together. The flavors are just too overwhelming.

4. Don’t leave out the okra. Not only does the okra give the gumbo a unique, earthy taste, it also adds to the thickness.

5. Always tell folks what type of gumbo you’re serving them beforehand. It’s just common courtesy, and will prepare their palates.

6. Do not use store-bought roux. This is a major crime in Louisiana.

7. Always use a wooden spoon.

How Long Will Chicken Gumbo Soup Last?

Your leftover chicken gumbo soup will last about 3 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it in small freezer safe containers for up to 8 months.

What Can You Serve With Chicken Gumbo Soup?

Gumbo is almost always served with rice. Another popular side is a sweet potato or potato salad. People seem to appreciate the sweetness of both. Folks in many Louisiana parishes are known to plop the potato salad right into the gumbo. While these are definitely the most popular sides, gumbo also goes great with:

  • coleslaw
  • cornbread
  • boiled corn
  • bisquits
  • fresh salad
  • hushpuppies
  • crab cakes
  • fried greed tomatoes
  • creamed spinach

What Are Mistakes People Make When Cooking Gumbo?

Gumbo is not terribly difficult to make, but you do need to be careful, and pay attention while making this tasty creation. Be mindful of these common mistakes.

1. Under cooking the roux

Don’t be afraid to let it cook until it’s dark brown. As long as you keep stirring, it won’t burn.

2. Not adding enough flour

If there’s not adequate flour, the soup could end up runny and thin.

3. Adding “odd” vegetables

It’s best to stick with the peppers, onions, and celery. This is not vegetable soup where you can throw any old thing in.

4. Adding the okra too early

Adding the okra too early in the cooking process will make it lose its ability to act as a thickening agent.

5. Walking away

Gumbo is a dish of patience. Never leave it unattended. You must always be prepared to stir.

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