A Cozy Stew: “Gumbo-laya” With Spicy Sausage, Chicken & Shrimp Turns Up The Heat On Winter

A Cozy Stew: “Gumbo-laya” With Spicy Sausage, Chicken & Shrimp Turns Up The Heat On Winter post image

Ooh, I love bold, spicy food; how about you? I thoroughly enjoy eating it any time, but in the winter, when my inner thermostat needs a little kick every now and then to wake it up so it can warm me up better, I especially crave that little tingle in the back of my throat, that zip that keeps me coming back for more, bite after addicting bite. Funny thing is, there was a time not all that many years back when I actually used to shy away from foods that were on the spicy side; but now to my shock and surprise, I can even surpass my husband in the “heat” department and love every hot minute of it. When I’m craving something spirited and spicy, I love to start out with a few dashes of a hot sauce, Sambal or red chili flakes added to my meal to warm up my palette; and then, as the meal progresses, I’ll find myself continually adding more and more spice to my food. So by the time my husband may want try a little taste of the dish that I’m enjoying at our favorite local Thai place, for example, I’ve kicked it up to the degree that he’s about ready to start coughing fireballs, poor guy. It kinda plays out something to this effect: “Whoa…(surprise, with eyes tearing up)…honey, this tastes really good (cough)…wow…(clearing throat, getting slightly red in the face)…you weren’t playing around with this…(clearing throat again, getting progressively redder )…you made that SPICY!” Well, what can I say? “Yes, my precious hubs—I made it spicy, alright; it’s spicy like your silly wife”, who by now has a runny nose and is perspiring like Adam Richman on any given episode of “Man v. Food”, but loving every minute of that sweet burn.

Gumbo and Jumbalaya in one dish

Gumbo and Jumbalaya in one dish

I’m the type of gal that loves a good stew; and stews that have a rich, tangy, tomatoey base and lots of zesty flavors are the types that I enjoy going a bit heavy with the spice on—a Jambalaya-style stew is a tasty example of just such a thing. Over the years, I’ve always made my own version of something that could sort of be a cross between a gumbo and jambalaya (I happen to adore okra, so I add it along with the trio of sausage, chicken and shrimp, but with the rice on the side), and it’s always made me feel quite comforted and warmed from the inside out. It can be light and fresh, yet have plenty of depth and rich flavor at the same time; and it gives my metabolism a much needed jolt in the wintertime when I spice it up nicely. The bonus? A couple of days after making it, the flavors intensify and mingle together that much more, so it’s great when it comes to enjoying the left-overs, as well. Quick to cook and satisfying, this “Gumbo-laya” will turn the heat up a notch on the winter season; and frankly, I could really go for that right about now.

Gumbo and Jumbalaya in one dish

Gumbo and Jumbalaya in one dish

So before I scare any of you away from giving this recipe a try due to fact that you may fear that your head will burst into flames, based what I wrote earlier in the post, fear not, dear reader. For recipe’s sake, I’ll just have you add whatever amount of spice that you’d like to add to your own bowl of this, and provide you instead with a much milder version of what I personally like to indulge in. “Gumbo-laya” is a zippy little ditty that’ll bring the body’s thermostat back up to high during this cold season and add a little spring into our winter step. So pass that ol’ stew pot and ladle around. Oh, and by the way, would you also mind passing the red chili pepper flakes while you’re at it? Hee-hee.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.

Ingrid

Gumbo and Jumbalaya in one dish

“Gumbo-laya” Stew with Spicy Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp with Okra over Fragrant Garlic Rice
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(Serves about 6-8)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large bell pepper, finely diced
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
½ pound okra, sliced into ¼ – ½” thick slices
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (raw)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
• Fragrant Garlic Rice (recipe below)

Preparation:

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine, and allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over the Fragrant Garlic Rice, with some additional spice/heat options like hot sauce, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, if desired.

Fragrant Garlic Rice ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 cups jasmine rice
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 cups water

Preparation:

-Place a medium pot over medium-high heat, and add in the olive oil; once hot, add in the pressed garlic, and stir to combine; once the garlic becomes fragrant, add in the rice, the salt and the pepper and stir, and allow the rice to “toast” in the garlic oil for about 2 minutes; next, add in the water, stir, and simmer the rice, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until tender; turn off the heat, and after 5 minutes, fluff with fork and serve.




{ 79 comments… add one }

  • Evette February 6, 2013, 5:55 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one!

    • The Cozy Apron February 6, 2013, 6:25 pm

      Great, Evette – I’d love to know how it turns out for you!

  • Sheena February 7, 2013, 7:24 am

    I’ve been craving jambalaya all week, and this just popped up on foodgawker! i love this fresh take, looks amazing, can’t wait to try it!

    • The Cozy Apron February 7, 2013, 10:58 am

      Sheena, thanks for stopping by and taking a look at the recipe – I think this just may satisfy your craving! Enjoy.

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) February 7, 2013, 7:42 am

    I made jambalaya for the Super Bowl and it was good–but this dish sounds and looks much more tasty!

    I love all things spicy, so this is totally up my alley.

  • Veronica February 10, 2013, 12:16 pm

    My cousin thought this would be a great recipe to try. Can’t wait to make this. :-)

  • Javier February 10, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Writing from Spain :) I’ve been following your work for some time and I trully enjoy your approach to cooking. This recipe looks just incredible and so simple and tomorrow night I’ll cook it for dinner. Spicy is fun :)

    • The Cozy Apron February 10, 2013, 4:30 pm

      Hi Javier, so wonderful to have you as a follower of the blog – I’m so glad you’ve taken some time to comment and introduce yourself! Please enjoy the recipe!

      • Javier February 11, 2013, 1:18 pm

        Just finished dinner and Gumbo-laya was spectacular! Fairly easy to cook and soooo good. I already started to pass it on :)

        • The Cozy Apron February 11, 2013, 2:33 pm

          Yeay! Thank you for coming back to share with me, Javier. So glad you had a good din-din, and thanks for passing things along!

    • AJ Williams June 5, 2014, 2:11 pm

      I have tried this recipe and find that it is quite tasty. My family loves it. I will be making this dish today.

      • The Cozy Apron June 6, 2014, 10:21 am

        Hi AJ! So excited to read that—I hope you all enjoy this once again! Happy cooking!

  • Katherine February 11, 2013, 6:30 pm

    These are the prettiest pictures of gumbo I have ever seen! Only fools wouldn’t want to try this recipe. I make my gumbo this way but without the tomatoes and tomato paste. I’m going to add them next time. I’m also going to add the okra. I usually leave it out and use file as a thickener. This looks too darn good not to cook. Thanks so much!

    • The Cozy Apron February 12, 2013, 6:37 am

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, Katherine! I hope you’ll enjoy this version of the recipe.

  • Beduwen February 12, 2013, 2:36 pm

    This looks fabulous! I’m with you – I love spicy food! The hotter the better. I am going to try this tonight…happy Mardi Gras! Thanks for posting.

  • Malissa February 12, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Hi, made the Gumbolaya today! It was good but not as dark and thick as yours looks…mine was light and a little runny. Any suggestions?? I measured everything to the T…so?? Thanks! My husband still loved it!

    • The Cozy Apron February 12, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Hi Malissa, thanks for your question! Not quite sure what to tell you – as thorough as I try to be when it comes to writing my recipes according to how I prepared the dish, there can be any number of reasons why things don’t end up looking completely identical (e.g. stoves, ovens, etc. can sometimes play a part, as well as actual technique). I would suggest making sure that you deeply brown your sausage, and perhaps allow the stew to simmer for a little longer next time (make sure it’s uncovered). The more deeply you “brown” your meats and veggies, the better for a deeper color; and for a thicker stew, you can always reduce the stock a little if you wish, or simmer longer to reduce it/thicken it more, before adding the shrimp and finishing it. Hope that helps!

  • zona Brewczynski February 13, 2013, 10:31 am

    Why don’t u have a way to just print the recipe without printing 17 pages. would love to have the reciepe but not enough to print that much.

    • admin February 13, 2013, 11:12 am

      Hi Zona,

      Sorry ’bout that! We fixed it so that you can click on “Print this recipe” and only print the recipe, without all the extra pages.

  • Cindy February 20, 2013, 8:43 am

    Hello from another LO Alumnus! I started making this recipe last night after the kids went to bed (sans the okra – I couldn’t find it fresh & didn’t want to risk using frozen) & will start it back up this afternoon with the shrimp and finish with the rice. I love recipes that I can jump start ahead of time. Thanks for this blog… you’ve inspired me to throw some new dishes into my boring rotation.

    • The Cozy Apron February 20, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Hi Cindy, small world! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you and your family enjoy the recipe!

  • Robyn February 21, 2013, 8:34 pm

    I made your gumbo-laya tonight and it was amazing! Very simple recipe to follow but it presents like a fancy meal I slaved over for hours – a great to make impression on guests! It’s fun to read everyone’s comments, too – you know it’s good when you even have people from Spain raving about it!

    • The Cozy Apron February 22, 2013, 6:56 am

      Hi Robyn, so glad this was an easy-to-prepare recipe for you, and that you enjoyed it! Thank you for stopping by, and also for sharing your experience with particular recipe!

  • Heidi March 4, 2013, 10:40 pm

    Just gathered the ingredients…can’t wait to make this tomorrow evening!!

    • The Cozy Apron March 5, 2013, 11:12 am

      Hi Heidi! I hope you enjoy preparing this recipe, and enjoy eating it even more – thanks for stopping by!

  • Debora Cadene April 29, 2013, 3:15 pm

    WOW! THAT looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Nicolender April 30, 2013, 7:11 pm

    I am making this right now! It smells soo good. Just waiting the 20 minutes and then I’ll put in the shrimp and voila! :)

    • The Cozy Apron April 30, 2013, 8:27 pm

      Aw, I love when people come and comment while they’re in the midst of preparing the recipe – it must mean that things are smellin’ good, and that dinner’s coming along well! I hope you enjoy this dish; thank you for stopping by to share!

  • Karen May 1, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Wow!!!! I made this last night and it was absolutely fabulous!!!!! Thanks so much for a great recipe!!!!! We recently went to New Orleans and let me just say…….this was just as good, if not better, than what we had down there. I am so glad I came across your recipe and your blog. :)

    • The Cozy Apron May 1, 2013, 6:04 pm

      Karen, what a compliment you’ve given me – thank you so much! I’m thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed by you and your family, and that perhaps when you get a bit nostalgic about your trip to New Orleans, you can whip this up and be taken back to some of those flavors you enjoyed while there!

      • Karen May 3, 2013, 11:06 am

        Ingrid,
        I definitely will! Hubby already said said it should be made often!!!! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe!!!!!

  • Raquel May 17, 2013, 12:11 pm

    If I wanted to double this recipe would I need to make any adjustments to ensure the same thickness?

    • The Cozy Apron May 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Hi Raquel! I would just go ahead and double the ingredients; what I would keep my eye on is how the stew is reducing. If you feel that the liquid is evaporating too quickly and it’s losing it’s juices, then go ahead and cover with a lid slightly askew; if you find that it’s a bit too thin (too much juices), then allow it to reduce down a little longer, and evaporate out. However, I think that it should be balanced just as is; just use your judgement in regards to either covering it or reducing it a little longer, depending on what you see happening. Hope you enjoy!

  • Raquel May 17, 2013, 5:55 pm

    Awesome! Thank you so much. This looks absolutely fab. I’m making it as we speak! I will let you know how it turns out & if I needed to do any adjustments.

  • Marian May 29, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I have never seen a gumbo look so enticingly beautiful! I am making this tomorrow.

  • HJ July 24, 2013, 10:06 am

    My son and I are making this for dinner tonight! I can’t wait to taste it! I will probably leave out the Okra so I hope it still tastes good. Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron July 24, 2013, 4:11 pm

      My pleasure, HJ! I hope you enjoy cooking with your son, and that the two of you have a wonderful dinner!

      • HJ July 24, 2013, 7:48 pm

        It was absolutely AMAZING!!!! Holy cow, the flavoring was to die for! My son and I had a blast working together to prepare dinner for our family. Thank You.

        • The Cozy Apron July 24, 2013, 10:17 pm

          Yeay! Thanks so much for coming back to share your experience with me – I was hoping you would! What a beautiful experience you and your son shared together, preparing the family meal; such a special and important activity that creates memories!

  • Jocelyn July 28, 2013, 5:54 am

    Hi! I was wondering if this stew would hold up if I were to freeze leftovers?

    • The Cozy Apron July 28, 2013, 5:04 pm

      Hi Jocelyn, it may hold up; but I worry that it may get that sort of “crystallization”, or that the texture of the shrimp/okra may get a bit strange. But if it’s between tossing it or freezing it, I’d give freezing it a try for sure!

  • Ida July 30, 2013, 2:02 pm

    This is my signature dish that I’ve made for years and I’ve never known what to call it so I just call it Goulash, which my sister always says does not describe it well, lol. I think I like your name better. P.S. It does freeze well, but I wouldn’t leave it for more than thirty days.

  • Tryphena August 11, 2013, 8:43 pm

    Made this last night for my husband and I and it was amazing! I brought some over to my brother as well who loves stews and he said that it tasted like something he had in New Orleans and to bring it over more often. Thanks for this delectable recipe! * The only change i made was that i added more tomato paste to thicken it some.

    • The Cozy Apron August 14, 2013, 7:07 pm

      Hi Tryphena! My pleasure…and thanks so much for coming back to share your experience with me! It made me chuckle that your brother asked you to bring it over more often… ;-)

  • Diane August 18, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Hi! I really want to try this. It looks so good, but I’m a yankee and have zero experience with okra. Do you think frozen would work? I’m not sure it is even sold fresh around here, but I know it’s used to thicken. Any thoughts on using frozen?

  • Sasha September 3, 2013, 9:50 am

    I made this the other night, and it was amazing!! My husband loved it! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Pamela September 8, 2013, 7:05 pm

    I usually don’t comment on things, but I want you to know I tried this recipe today and it was delicious! I loved it, my boyfriend loved it, the kids loved it! big hit in my house will definitely make this again! thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron September 9, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Pamela, then your comments are that much more precious to me! I feel very happy that you did, indeed, take the time to comment and let me know that all of you enjoyed this fun recipe; thank you for sharing that!

  • Valerie Smith September 13, 2013, 2:42 pm

    I found this recipe posted on PINTEREST. Being from Louisiana and loving both gumbo and jambalya, I can not wait to try this. May wait for it to cool down a little outdoors, but definitely I will be making this.

    • The Cozy Apron September 15, 2013, 2:17 pm

      Hi Valerie, so excited to hear that! Please do let me know what you think…

  • Sue Clark September 24, 2013, 1:02 pm

    Just had to comment on this recipe! I made it a few days ago as I was too weary to make a roux but craved gumbo. Well….as I was finishing this up I discovered one lone container of roux in my freezer. (I make it in quanities and freeze in 1 cup containers.)I decided to just dump it in the pot. It tasted so much like genuine gumbo! I love, love your shorter version and it is a keeper.

    • The Cozy Apron September 24, 2013, 3:52 pm

      Hi Sue, thanks so much! Don’t you just love those little surprises – money in a coat pocket from the previous year, roux in the freezer from the last batch you made :-) – when you find ‘em? So glad this recipe’s a keeper!

  • Kristen Renfro September 27, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I made this tonight to try something new and it was AMAZING! It came out perfect and i will try not to repeat this recipe too many times because I can’t wait to have it again :)

    • The Cozy Apron September 28, 2013, 6:02 pm

      Kristen, isn’t it great when you take a chance trying something new and it turns out really good? I’m so glad you shared that – thank you!

  • Patio Daddio November 12, 2013, 4:39 pm

    Great recipe…will use the Fragrant Rice with other dishes. Eliminated the chicken and substituted all shrimp along with Andouille. A family favorite right out of the box. Thank you for sharing.

    • The Cozy Apron November 13, 2013, 6:00 am

      My pleasure! And thanks so much for stopping by to let me know that this recipe was a hit for the entire family!

  • Amber November 14, 2013, 10:31 am

    Has anyone tried this with frozen okra? Fresh is hard to find where I am. At what point should you add it?

    • The Cozy Apron November 14, 2013, 1:59 pm

      Hi Amber, frozen is just fine, too. And just add it in at the same time as you would the fresh. Enjoy!

  • michele nicastro December 15, 2013, 8:00 am

    i just made this today & it was delicious! mine didnt come out as dark as yours did but the flavors were all there and it was awesome, thanks for sharing!!

  • Brandi December 29, 2013, 11:33 am

    I bought all of the ingredients for a traditional gumbo to have on New Years Day but will be making this instead. Planning to add in the crab I bought and an additional 1/2 pound shrimp. Do you think I will need to add more liquid? Also I have tomatoes with diced chiles too much spice with the cayenne?

    • The Cozy Apron December 29, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Hi Brandi, so excited that you will be making this recipe, instead! Yes, I would probably add just a little more liquid, maybe a 1/2 cup extra stock, but remember that you can always add more liquid at the end if you feel you need it – always easier to add than to subtract when it comes to liquid. As far as “spice” is concerned, you’d have to know how spicy you like things – omit the cayenne if you prefer, as you can always add that in at the end once you taste it. Hope you enjoy!

  • Teresa - Sassy Suburbanite March 3, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Good Lord! Your pictures made my mouth water and just in time for Fat Tuesday tomorrow. I’m going to try this. Thank you.
    Teresa

    • The Cozy Apron March 3, 2014, 3:40 pm

      Haha! That’s funny Teresa—though I don’t think you’ll have to worry too much about the “fat” in this particular dish for “Fat Tuesday” (I didn’t even know there WAS a “Fat Tuesday”!); it’s still a pretty healthy dish with all those great veggies! Truly hope you enjoy this.

  • Janie April 7, 2014, 12:22 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe sans too much spice. I enjoy your writing beyond words!

    • The Cozy Apron April 7, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Janie! I really appreciate your comment. And I do hope you enjoy this recipe—just adjust spices to your preference!

  • Karen September 16, 2014, 6:58 am

    As a resident of the deep south (along the coast of Louisiana!) we don’t normally put tomatoes or tomato paste in our gumbo or jambalaya, but this dish looks so yummy that I am certainly gonna give it a try! I have about 20 lbs of homemade smoked sausage in the freezer that I need to use up before we make another batch!

    • The Cozy Apron September 16, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Hi Karen, I’m really happy that you’re willing to give this recipe a try, even though it may be a bit “a-typical” for you, what with the tomatoes! :-) It’ll be a perfect recipe to use your delicious homemade smoked sausage in, and I truly hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your comments.

  • Nasreen Nguyen September 16, 2014, 4:07 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight without ever having Jambalaya or Gumbo before in my life. My 7 year old AND my 16 month old demolished it! It was amazing (and I’m a serious foodie). Great recipe. Can’t wait to show off for guests.

    • The Cozy Apron September 16, 2014, 4:23 pm

      Nasreen, I always really love to read when the little ones “demolish” a recipe—how awesome! Looks like you’re raising your kiddos to be “serious foodies” just like you! So glad that you all enjoyed this recipe, especially since you had never had this type of dish; and I thank you for taking a moment out of your certainly-busy schedule to share your comments with me! ;-)

  • Stephanie Smith October 7, 2014, 1:11 pm

    This was so beyond stinkin’ delicious!
    And not very time consuming either.
    Smelled wonderful, looked wonderful and tasted too good to be true!

    • The Cozy Apron October 7, 2014, 3:47 pm

      Wow, Stephanie—I loved reading that! I appreciate your kind comments, and am thrilled that the recipe was enjoyed.

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