One of my many fond memories of New Orleans was Jazz Fest. It might have been the music and drinks, but the food was beyond delicious. The place was packed with people roaming from one stage to another. Shops and food vendors lining along the walkways and artists from all over the world singing their hearts out. As much as I enjoy going to 5-star restaurants, I also love street food. The most rich, authentic and insatiable dishes can be found in street food or as my husband calls it, ‘hole in the wall’ restaurants. I have dined in several restaurants in New Orleans and nothing tops that experience at Jazz Fest – eating dishes like seafood étouffée, shrimp cheese grits and of course gumbo out on the open field. And if you have been to New Orleans, beignets at Cafe Du Monde is also another staple.
When it comes to home cooked meals, the best dishes are the ones that will continually bring back those good memories, thus calling them ‘comfort foods’.
After my trip, I was determined to make my own version of these dishes at home. I have since mastered my version of gumbo – a simple, flavorful and filling dish that takes less than 30 minutes and cooked in one pan. What more can you ask for right – good eats and less cleaning!
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Below is my version of ‘Gumbo with sausage and chicken’.
- 2 pre-cooked mild sausage links
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 box of Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix with Rice
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups of thawed okra
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (optional)
- French bread
- Optional: Replace meats with 1 cup of deveined shrimp and/or crayfish
- Prep the sausage and chicken by slicing them into bite size pieces.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan on medium high heat until hot.
- Add the chicken pieces into the sauce pan and cook until it is no longer pink. Pour chicken on plate and set chicken aside.
- In the same pot, add 6 cups of water and the Zatarain’s gumbo mix, and stir until well blended.
- Add okra, chicken and pre-cooked sausage to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure to stir the soup.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (for that spicy kick) and turn up cooking heat to ‘high’ for the last 5 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Cool for 5 minutes and serve with sliced French bread.
Note: if you love seafood, you can substitute the chicken and sausage with shrimp and crayfish meat. Just make sure to add those ingredients for the last 10 minutes of your cook time.
Want a little taste of New Orleans? Try these other recipes.