Chicken Gumbo

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Gumbo is as essential to the lexicon of Southern cookery as clam chowder is to that of New England or scrapple is to that of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. The word derives from the Bantu word gombo, meaning okra, and first appeared in American print in the year 1803. The name was brought over, of course, by the slaves.


  • cups peanut, vegetable, or corn oil
  • cups flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped sweet green peppers
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 chicken (5 to 6 pounds), cut into serving pieces
  • 10 cups Chicken Stock or canned chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Heat a large heavy skillet and add 1 cup oil. When it starts to smoke, add cups flour and cook, stirring, until the roux becomes quite dark, a rusty caramel color. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter. Add the green peppers, onions, and celery. Cook, stirring, over low heat about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, dredge the chicken pieces in the remaining 1 cup flour. Heat the remaining cups oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides.
  • Add the stock to the celery-and-pepper mixture, stirring constantly. This sauce will be quite thin. As the chicken is browned on both sides, transfer it to the sauce.
  • Continue cooking about 30 minutes. Add the cumin, cayenne, white pepper, salt, and bay leaves. Cook 10 minutes longer.
  • Serve with rice.