This Slow Cooker Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo is a New Orleans inspired dish that’s full of flavor! It’s comfort food to the max, hearty, and best of all it’s freezer friendly!
Slow Cooker Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Now, I realize this is not the normal fare you see around here on Countryside Cravings but you know me, I am always willing to try out something new. I have made gumbo a handful of times and we absolutely love how flavorful it is. The only thing I don’t care for is how time consuming it is to make. So, I wanted to make a slow cooker version and after a few trial and errors, I think I nailed it.
A few other great slow cooker meals are: Slow Cooker Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole, Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Chili Mac, and Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken.
I tried to make this as easy as possible when making this recipe but found it absolutely necessary to keep the roux. It’s a crucial component and after doing some research about gumbo it’s what gives it so much flavor. So, that step cannot be deleted. However, using the slow cooker made this easier because you won’t have to stand at the pot stirring it so much.
This may not be an authentic gumbo but I wanted to make it a little more manageable for the everyday cook. I have never been to New Orleans so I can’t say for sure how close this compares to the real deal. And don’t be intimidated by the roux, it really isn’t that hard and I took a picture (above) so you know what color to look for.
What is a roux?
A roux (pronounced roo) is a thickening agent made from flour and a fat (oil, butter, animal fat). The flour and fat are cooked together to get rid of the raw flour taste and depending on how long you cook it, it will develop a nutty flavor.
There are four types of roux: white, blond, medium brown, and dark brown. For this recipe, we need either a medium brown or dark brown roux and the picture towards the top of the post is a medium brown.
How to make a Medium Brown Roux:
For this recipe, I chose to make a medium brown roux. Many gumbos use a dark brown roux but the longer you cook a roux it will start to lose its thickening power. I needed both flavor and thickening for this recipe and that’s why I decided on a medium brown roux.
Start by choosing your fat. I chose butter for this recipe but you can also use oil or even bacon fat. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Now you will need to add in the same amount of flour as fat. So if you melted 2 tablespoons of fat you will use 2 tablespoons of flour. For this recipe, we used 1/2 cup of butter so we will need 1/2 cup of flour. Add that to the pan and whisk to combine.
Now, we will keep whisking almost constantly until we reach that medium brown color (about the color of peanut butter). This is key to making a good roux, whisking helps keep is smooth, silky, and helps prevent it from burning. If you see black spots it has burned and you will need to start over. Many will give suggested lengths of time it takes to achieve the different colored rouxs but I prefer to go by color because everyone’s stove cook differently. If you feel it is cooking way to fast lower the heat to a medium low.
What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?
Gumbo is more of a soup/stew that is served with rice. Jambalaya is a rice dish where the rice is actually cooked with the rest of the ingredients.
Can I freeze this Slow Cooker Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo?
Yes!! This does make a very large amount of food and it is freezer friendly!! You can freeze in single portions or larger portions. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and just let thaw overnight and reheat as needed.
So don’t be afraid to tackle a roux if you haven’t before. It really isn’t that hard, and it’s the starting point for so many other dishes! Also, please don’t be afraid of the longer ingredient list. There aren’t any wierd ingredients I promise!!
- 1/2 cup butter or oil
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1/2" rounds
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen okra, thawed, drained, and patted dry
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 pounds chicken breast or boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 1 pound raw large shrimp, deveined, peeled, and rinsed
In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk almost constantly until it reaches a medium brown color (like peanut butter) and has a nice toasty smell. If it is browning really fast turn down your heat so it doesn't burn.
Add the chopped onion, bell peppers, celery, garlic and cajun seasoning. Increase heat back up to medium if needed and cook for 3-5 minutes just to get the vegetables a little head start. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and continue to whisk until there are no lumps. Transfer to slow cooker.
Stir in sausage, okra, and bay leaves. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken can be easily shredded.
Remove chicken to cutting board and shred. Transfer back to slow cooker and stir in shrimp. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stew settle for 5 minutes. If any fat comes to the surface remove with a spoon if desired. Serve with hot cooked rice.
- Freezer Friendly- this can be frozen in single portions or larger portions for up to 6 months in a freezer safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.