Chicken and Sausage Gumbo YaYa

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo YaYa starts with a roux and the holy trinity of celery, onions and green peppers. Throw in some spicy smoked sausage and boiled or roast chicken and you’ve got yourself a party. Pass the Tabasco, please.
Gumbo Yaya

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that Manservant has roots in Mississippi, just down the road from New Orleans. It was there that I discovered my love of Cajun and Creole food and gumbo yaya. It was there that Paul Prudhomme and I became soul mates-well-at least in my head. And it was there that shrimps became srimps-because that’s how they say it. It was also there that I discovered a jovial side of the family who are warm and generous and that I hardly see at all.

Whenever I go to N’awlins I eat my brains out. Good food is hard to resist and good rich food is even better. Stuffing my face with cream filled food and lordy lordy, a lot of spicy spices, and then the muffalettas and the beignets and the chicory coffee and we haven’t even gotten to drinks yet.  Yep, this was the first place I had okra; and I liked it. No, on oysters. I’m weird that way. However you can pry my mouth open when they’re fried or perhaps covered with a ton of garlic and grilled. Pralines? Pass one my way. And the list goes on. New Orleans food is a wonder and I remember getting on the plane to come home. Manservant and I both felt a tad nauseous. That’s what happens when you put a Northerner into a vat of richly seasoned food and fun loving folks.

gumbo with chicken and sausage

My brain starts wanting me some good Cajun food ’bout now. I think my body is a walking calendar. Yep, it’s Fat Tuesday and my body needs more. Don’t I wish? Now I’ve never been to Mardi Gras or celebrated Lent, but that is what we’re talking about. Eat all you want. Drink all you want. Party like there’s no tomorrow and then tomorrow it’s time to get ready for Easter and the ritual fast. So it is I started digging out all my cookbooks from Paul and Emeril and Brennan’s and Commander’s Palace and I have even more….until I found Gumbo YaYa. Don’t you all be jabberin’ at the same time now. Because that’s what YaYa means. When you can’t hear each other talkin’…found in a 1945 Cajun cookbook…all you hear in the kitchen is yaya!

Gumbo YaYa was described as a Creole dish, but I think the author got it wrong. Creole food is city food. It usually contains tomatoes and butter; not oil. Those aren’t in this recipe. Cajun is country food. Not as refined. Never has tomatoes. Often contains seafood and chicken or sausage. Andouille sausage is Cajun food. Whatever. Manservant was thrilled to see me stirring the roux. I stirred my roux in my Le Creuset Dutch oven. It made it easy-not that making a roux is hard, but it came together really quick because I was able to turn my heat higher and not worry about scorching the roux. If you have a not so heavy pot, than turn your heat lower. Have all your ingredients ready. Don’t leave it for a second. Though Manservant would say that a touch of scorch is what makes a good roux, but what does he know?

gumbo with chicken and sausage and rice, tabasco

Now quit your jabberin’! And start cookin! Tonight’s a party, y’all. You may not think so, but this gumbo sure does. Let the good times roll!

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Gumbo Yaya

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo YaYa

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soup, stew, gumbo
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Cajun/Creole


  • 3 cans low salt chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 c brown roux approximately
  • 1 lb Andouille Sausage or any spicy smoked sausage
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 t dried thyme leaves or 4 sprigs fresh
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T tabasco
  • 2 T Worcestershire
  • 1/22 t salt (This is your preference and depends on how salty your stock and sausage is.)
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 34 c shredded chicken (I use a roast chicken from the grocery, but if you make your own chicken stock, you can use the chicken from that.
  • 3 c cooked white rice (You may want more. It depends on how many rice lovers you have.)

Brown Roux

  • 1 c canola oil
  • 1 1/2 c flour, divided into 1/4 cups
  • 1/3 c finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 c finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 c finely chopped celery
  • 1 t minced garlic


Brown Roux (Make sure to have all ingredients ready and a whisk.)

  1. In a heavy bottomed 4 quart Dutch oven, add oil and heat to smoking over medium high heat. Be careful! As soon as oil is smoking whisk in flour in 1/4 c increments until flour becomes a dark nutty brown. When that happens add the next 1/4 cup and so on. Continue to whisk, through out the entire process until flour is incorporated and deep brown. Do not leave for one second because the roux can burn fast. When all is incorporated, remove from heat.
  2. Once removed from heat immediately add onion, pepper, celery and garlic. This helps cool the roux and adds flavor. Pour or spoon roux into a 4 cup measure and set aside. It is very hot so be careful. Now wipe out your Dutch oven and get ready to make your gumbo.

Gumbo YaYa

  1. Slice sausage into 1/4″ slices and cut in half. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat and add sausage. Cook until the fat is rendered or it starts to brown.
  2. Add garlic, green pepper and onion. Saute about 3 minutes or until veggies are softened. Pour in stock and bring to a simmer. Add thyme and bay leaf.
  3. Add reserved 1 1/2 c roux, whisking until roux is incorporated. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken, Tabasco, Worcestershire and pepper. Add salt to taste. Serve over rice with biscuits or corn bread. (You may also want to adjust the tabasco if you don’t like things too spicy.)


Slightly adapted from Brennan’s.

Keywords: gumbo. gumbo yaya, cajun food, creole food, mardi gras recipes,

More N’Awlins Food:

Shrimp Piquant 


Cajun Fish with Pecan Butter 


Mardi Gras Recipes

Please Pin and Share the gumbo y’all!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo YaYa is made with simple ingredients and a brown roux. So good and heartwarming! #gumbo #mardigrasfood #chicken #sausage


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  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    March 3, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Abbe, this gumbo sounds and looks delicious – and I bet it is! Haven't had gumbo in a long time, so thanks for the reminder- I have to try your recipe!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    March 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Love a good gumbo and this one is talking to me. Please pass the Tabasco. 😀

  • Ally
    March 2, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Simply stunning, Miss Abbe! And, I know any leftovers would be outrageously deeelish! xo

  • Doreen Simpson
    March 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

    My word this looks so tasty, I'll be trying out your recipe very soon… delish ♥

  • Kim (Life in the Van)
    March 2, 2017 at 4:00 am

    You gumbo looks and sounds incredible!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 2, 2017 at 4:28 am

      It was great gumbo Kim! And the leftovers are even better!

  • Caroline Williams
    March 2, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Looks like a delicious, comforting gumbo!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 2, 2017 at 4:28 am

      It is Caroline. Great comfort food!

  • Ann Fulton
    March 2, 2017 at 12:19 am

    This would be a complete hit in my house. Looks scrumptious!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 1, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I've never made a gumbo! We like spicy so time to rectify that – YaYa!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 2, 2017 at 4:26 am

      Put it on your bucket list Susan!

  • Shea Goldstein
    March 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I'm always impressed with your photography, Abbe. The gumbo looks absolutely delicious.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 2, 2017 at 4:26 am

      Shea, that means a lot. I really hate the photos the most! Still feel I have a lot to learn. Pure luck! I'm not good at following instructions! Very good gumbo, I must say!

  • Lynn Vining
    March 1, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Gorgeous!

  • Juliana
    March 1, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Oh Abbe…this gumbo looks so tasty…I had gumbo in restaurant, but never cooked on…thanks for the recipe…
    I hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 2, 2017 at 4:25 am

      Bet this is better Juliana! Just sayin'!

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities
    March 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I really want to have some SAUSAGE in my face!!!!!!!!! hahaahahahahahahahhaha!

  • Jeff
    March 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    This looks so delicious! And what is that you serving with it? A biscuit? I so want this for dinner tonight.

  • Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    March 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I have never heard of gumbo yaya, but this bowl looks delicious and comfy, Abbe! And love all the spices you have used for flavoring this dish. I bet it tastes divine.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Gumbo is an American thing, so it doesn't surprise me that you haven't heard of it. Give it a try!

  • Angie Schneider
    March 1, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I have never had a gumbo, let alone to cook one…I love that rich creamy sauce! Can I make this with just chicken? Not fancy for any sausage…

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Gumbo is great. It is a very silky sauce, but no cream! Yes. Make it with just chicken, just add more or throw in some shrimp if you want, too! This is not a fancy dish-just pure comfort!

  • mjskit
    March 1, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Now that's a gumbo! Growing up in Louisiana, I ate A LOT of gumbo, all types of gumbo but my favorites always had andouille. Perfect color and lots of goodness seen in those pictures. Fabulous recipe Abbe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:34 am

      Didn't know you grew up there. You are probably an expert in this department! Thanks MJ. That's a high compliment indeed!

  • Denise Browning
    March 1, 2017 at 3:22 am

    It looks so delish that made my mouth water, literally! Love cajun food and would love to try The Newlins' restaurant one day. Love your new blog's design too.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:32 am

      Thanks Denise! It is delish-but I think most Cajun food is. There is something so comforting and exotic abut it at the same time. Go figure!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 1, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Your Yaya gumbo looks amazing Abbe, love all the flavors and spices that you used and your broth is such a beautiful color.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:32 am

      Thanks Cheri. That roux makes it a gorgeous color. But remember it's not so broth like, but I can never think how to describe it!

  • Adam J. Holland
    February 28, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    This bowl of goodness makes me want to slap my pappy. But no Cajun has ever said that he (or she) is stirring roux in a La Creuset. That would be the refined Creole folk, darlin'. 😉

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:30 am

      Well Adam. I think I might be a combo of both. I do have a cast iron lurking in the garage that I bring out of hiding here and there! Very funny!

  • Liz Berg
    February 28, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Oooh, so tempting!! I love gumbo—I think I had my first bowl at Mr. B's Bistro in N.O. I need to make a toned down version for dinner!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:29 am

      Been there also Liz. We always try to go to the classics and then try a few new ones, too! Yes, you may want to cut down on the Tabasco!

  • Tricia Buice
    February 28, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Well there is no doubt in my mind that we were working from the same recipe page this week! Your gumbo is beautiful and love the thick broth. Love a good spicy bowl of deliciousness!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:28 am

      I think so too Tricia! I must say that this is almost like a gravy than a broth but ne could thin it with more stock if one preferred. There seem to be several camps on that!

  • Yi
    February 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Nothing beats celebrating Mardi Gras with a healthy serving of good ol' gumbo. I can almost smell it from my computer screen. Really enjoyed your story and the recipe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

      Thanks Yi. I do love Mardi Gras!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    February 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Love Louisiana cooking! And love gumbo — such good stuff. Yours looks terrific. Good thing I have some andouille in the freezer — you've got me craving this. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

      You have some good recipes too John. Now get that sausage out of the freezer!

  • Pam
    February 28, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Your gumbo looks delicious, Abbe! Love making gumbo and your version is great, but even better to enjoy it in NOLA where I eat and drink my brains out too! Can't resist those Hurricanes! 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      March 1, 2017 at 4:26 am

      I so agree Pam! It was delicious, but I'd much rather be eating it in NOLA!