One of my favorite learning tools is America’s Test Kitchen. I love the way they explain the scientific methods of how certain cooking techniques work and why. We are a family of foodies however we do try to eat a bit healthier than we used to. That being said Gumbo is a Roux based dish…that means butter!

America’s Test Kitchen shared a recipe the other day where they baked the flour in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes to create the color of the gumbo and mixed that cinnamon colored flour with stock not oil or butter. The results were heavenly. I even used my immersion blender to pulvarize the vegetables which further added thickness of the sauce. I did not add okra…not loved in this family…but you certainly could.


  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 T thyme
  • 2 T Sous Salt Smoked Paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 andouille sausage diced
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. To a 10″ skill add the flour and spread evenly. Put the skillet in the oven and brown the flour for apx 30 – 45 mins.  Each oven cooks differently for after 25 minutes check the flour. You want the color to be no darker than the color of cinnamon.

While the flour is cooking add the canola oil to a dutch oven and heat. Stir in the onion, pepper and celery and saute for apx 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and saute for just a minute. Add in 2 c of the chicken stock, Sous Salt Smoked Paprika, thyme and bay leaves to the vegetables. Nestle the chicken thighs into the stock mixture and simmer for 20 mins.

Remove the chicken after it’s cooked and let it cool so you can shred it.

At this time you can either use your immersion blender to pulverize the vegetables or not. If you do it will add to the thickness of the sauce.  Using the other two cups of chicken add the browned flour to it and whisk until there are no longer any lumps.  Add this mixture to the dutch oven mixture as well as the andouille sausage and bring to a gentle boil for five minutes or until you get the consistency you want for the gumbo.  Once there add the shredded chicken back to the pot and two finely sliced scallions. Turn the heat off and you are ready to serve.  I made a lovely basmati rice and spooned the gumbo right over it.

One more suggestion. Many times I use hummus to thicken soups, curries, sauces, etc.  You can also substitute the flour for hummus in this recipe.  Turns out just perfectly. Adjust the thickness you desire by adding more or less hummus. Just whisk it in with the last two cups of chicken stock.