Chilly day? Go ahead and make this Dry Roux Gumbo and it'll warm you right up!
This dry roux gumbo recipe has ALL the flavor, but WAY less oil. Dare I say that I prefer our Dry Roux Gumbo recipe than the original?! I know!! 🙀
The first time I heard someone talking about making a gumbo with a dry roux, I was definitely skeptical.
Making a gumbo with a dry roux starts out with flour that has been toasted in the oven before hand, but is whisked with chicken broth (or water) instead of cooked with oil on the stovetop.
So traditional roux = flour and fat (usually oil or butter) is whisked in a large pot over medium-low heat until a lovely brown color. The roux serves as a thickening agent for the gumbo and cooking the flour with a fat gets rid of the "raw" taste of the flour, turning it into the deep flavor and aroma that gumbo (and other roux recipes) are known for.
Dry roux = flour is toasted on a baking sheet in the oven until the same lovely brown color. But it's JUST the flour. The same aroma is in the air when dry roux is cooking and after it "comes to life" by being whisked in a small portion of chicken broth, the texture and flavor is VERY similar (almost eerily similar) as if you would have used a traditional roux.
The main appeal to a dry roux gumbo for me, is the significant reduction in OIL. Now instead of a ½ cup of oil, you only have the grease that is created from cooking the sausage and chicken. Much easier to skim 😎
Here are some things you may need to get cooking -
- Cast Iron Pot - here's the exact one that I use for double batches
- File Powder - if you're not in the south, it may be hard to find. I buy mine either directly from Tony Chachere's or through Amazon.
- Baking Sheet for toasting the flour - these are my favorites and they never buckle in the oven.
Here's what you should make with your gumbo -
- You need some freshly cooked rice
- And probably some bread
- If you want a light side, you can add this slaw (it's my favorite "salad")
- Or you can make this roasted asparagus. These rarely make it past 10 minutes out of the oven 🤣
And as always, thank you for being here! Thanks for choosing my blog to help feed your beautiful family, I know there are so many others to choose from 💖
Dry Roux for Gumbo or Stew
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Turn your vent on HIGH. I said it was easy, I didn't say it wasn't roux-smelly
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spread flour on the baking sheet as evenly as possible
- Once oven has preheated, add flour in the oven and every 10 minutes STIR the roux
- Stirring the roux - I push all the outsides to the middle and then gently mix so that it's combined and then spread out again. If you do NOT do this, the flour on the outside will burn.
- Cook for 50 minutes or until a beautiful milk chocolate color. (I recommend holding a piece of chocolate next to your flour, yes really)
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to an airtight container (I like using a glass jar) or make your gumbo with ½ of the flour!!
Dry Roux Chicken, Sausage, and Okra Gumbo
- ¼ cup dry roux
- 10 cups water
- 2 pounds chicken thighs
- 12 oz package of frozen cajun mirepoix (onion, celery, bell pepper)
- 6 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor
- ½ tablespoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (plus ½ teaspoon for seasoning chicken)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound smoked sausage
- ½ teaspoon file powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup frozen okra
- In a large saute pan or pot, bring heat to medium-high spray lightly with nonstick spray. Season chicken thighs with a little Tony’s and add right to the pan. Let cook undisturbed for 8 minutes.
- Flip and then immediately add in the bag of frozen veggies. Cover completely, lower fire to medium-low and let cook for 20 minutes. Don't even touch it!
- In a large cast iron pot or stock pot, add 9 cups of water and put fire on high. In the remaining 1 cup of water, whisk in the dry roux until fully incorporated and then add this mixture to the rest of the water, whisking until no lumps remain.
- Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer as you add in the Better Than Bouillon, Tony’s seasoning, and garlic powder. Let simmer with the lid cracked until the 20 minutes are up from the chicken and veggies.
- Add the chicken and veggies directly to the pot with the water and stir, do not shred the chicken yet.
- In the same saute pan or pot used for the chicken, add the smoked sausage and let brown for 10 minutes total (medium-high heat), flipping every 4-5 minutes. Let sausage rest on a paper towel lined plate, and blot of any remaining grease if desired (I do).
- Add the sausage to the gumbo and at the same time add the file powder, bay leaves, and frozen okra. Don't stress if it doesn't seem thick enough, the file powder and okra will help to thicken.
- Stir gently and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Lid cracked.
- Remove chicken and shred, it should just fall apart!
- Add back to the gumbo and now it’s up to you! You can simmer for another 15-20 minutes (preferred) or you can simmer this thing for another hour.
- In these last 20 minutes, prepare your steamed rice!!
- Enjoy your gumbo and be PROUD of yourself!! You just made a homemade gumbo!! Look at you!
Still have questions? I'm here to help!
Q - Can I use this recipe instead of a traditional gumbo recipe?
A - Absolutely!! Dry Roux Gumbo is still gumbo, it just starts off a little different
Q - Do I have to use chicken and sausage in my gumbo?
A - Nope! You can swap these for crab, shrimp, or duck!
Q - Can I freeze this gumbo?
A - You can! I love to make a double batch and freeze half. Nothing like warming up a pot of gumbo that you don't have to work for! It makes a great new mom gift as well 🤩
Q - I want my gumbo a little thicker. Can I add more of the dry roux?
A - You sure can! I like my gumbo on the thinner side, but you can bump it up to ⅓ cup or even ½ cup if you like a THICK gumbo. I would just whisk the extra dry roux in 1 cup of broth (scoop it right out of the pot), and once incorporated, add it back to the larger pot. This is to make sure you don't accidentally have any weird lumps of flour. Continue to cook as listed in the recipe.
Q – How do I store my extra dry roux and will it clump?
A – I store my prepared dry roux in a glass jar. My roux has never clumped up in the past 5+ months of storing roux BUT I live in a dry climate. Make sure to store your roux in a pantry or anywhere that is NOT right next to or above the stovetop. The steam from your cooking can cause clumping.
Q – How long can I store the roux?
A – I did a little research of my own and the most common I have seen in 3 months in an airtight container (I use a glass jar) in the pantry. My roux never lasts that long 😂
Q – What other recipes can I make with this roux?
Q – Does it need to be this dark?
A – For gumbo, the short answer is yes. The darker the roux, the deeper the flavor and come on! You want your gumbo to be a nice dark brown and not beige. Just wait it out, I promise it’s worth it!
More questions? Send me a message on Instagram. I'm always happy to help!!