Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo is great for groups.

Chef Margot's Go-To Gumbo

ICE Assistant Dean of Students Margot Olshan shares her make-ahead dish for hosting groups.

Chefs in the ICE community are sharing their holiday recipes this week with secrets, pro tips and personal touches. You might know Chef Margot from an Open House at our New York campus, where she often demonstrates a dish. Here, she shares her tradition for holiday hosting: a hearty gumbo that's perfect for group gatherings.

This is a great make-ahead recipe so that if you have company, you are not trapped at the stove. I either set it up as a self-serve item with a pot of rice, where guests can help themselves to a cup of it for something to take the winter chill off; or I serve it as a first course with the full dinner. Of course, because it is so hearty, it can be a meal on its own with a side of cornbread. It's also just as good the next day as leftovers.


Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Serves 6-8 people


  • 2-3 pounds chicken parts, white and dark meat
  • Water to cover
  • 1 pound okra cut into ½ inch pieces (frozen is fine if fresh is not available)
  • ½ cup butter (unsalted)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, small dice
  • 1 green pepper, small dice
  • 1 red pepper, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 16-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped, save juice
  • 10-12 ounces Andouille sausage, cooked and sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (can reserve shells for stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (may use smoked paprika for a smokier flavor)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon file powder (optional)
  • 1 small bunch scallions, sliced thin on diagonal (white and green parts)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Make a simple chicken stock. Remove excess fat and skin from chicken parts. Put in a medium-size stock pot with enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer till chicken is fully cooked (about 25 minutes). Note: Shrimp shells may be added to stock about halfway through for more flavor.
  2. Strain water and reserve. If using shrimp shells, discard. Let chicken cool. When it is cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-size pieces and reserve.
  3. In a Staub cast iron cocotte, combine the butter and flour to make a roux. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently. Cook until a dark brown roux is formed. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
  4. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, celery and jalapeno pepper. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper stirring till thoroughly combined.
  6. Add some of the reserved chicken stock to loosen up the cooked ingredients. Then add the rest.
  7. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.
  8. Add shredded chicken, sausage, okra and shrimp, and cook for about 15 minutes till all ingredients are cooked through and up to temp. If using file powder, can add at this time.
  9. Check for seasoning and adjust.
  10. Serve over rice, garnish with scallions.

Note: This is a really hearty soup or stew. Adjust the amount of stock you add according to how thick you want to make it. If it gets too thick, you can add a little water if stock is not available.

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