Gumbo is a hearty Creole/Cajun dish from Louisiana. Beyond that, a hard and fast definition of what makes a gumbo is elusive. Soup or stew? That depends on who is telling the story. The basic building blocks are a thickening agent (traditionally okra, later a roux- butter and flour for the Creole, and oil/lard instead of butter for the Cajun), the ‘holy trinity’ aromatic vegetable base of Creole/Cajun cuisine (onion, capsicum and celery), spices (paprika and cayenne), broth and tender pieces of fish, prawn, chicken, beef or sausage (often a combination). Sassafras is also commonly used in gumbo – it has a unique aniseed flavour (think base note of root beer). As a homage to all things Southern, we have incorporated Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce as a tasty base note to this aromatic dish.






  • 750g chicken thigh, trimmed
    and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Large pinch smoked salt
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil or lard
  • 350g smoky spicy chorizo,
    skin removed and crumbled
  • 115g butter
  • 115g flour
  • 150g brown onion,
    finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red capsicum,
    finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large red chilli, split
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2L chicken broth
  • 8-10 okra, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp sassafras powder
  • 125ml Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce
  • 18 green prawns,
    peeled, tails on



Toss the chicken in the paprika, cayenne and salt until well coated. Set aside.


Heat a heavy based saucepan or casserole over a medium high heat, add the oil or lard and fry the chorizo until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with the spiced chicken pieces. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and combine with chorizo. Set aside.


Working quickly, turn the heat down to medium low, add the butter, allow to melt and when starting to foam, whisk in the flour. Whisk continuously until the roux is the colour of peanut butter, this should take about 4-5 minutes. The roux mustn’t burn or stick.


Next add the onion, garlic, capsicum and celery. Stirring often, cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Stir through the tinned tomatoes, followed by the chilli, bay leaves and oregano. Add the chicken broth slowly, stirring to combine. Return the chicken and chorizo to the broth and simmer gently for 30 minutes, if using okra add in after 20 minutes. Stir in the sassafras and Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce, before adding the green prawns. Simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until the prawns are just cooked through. Serve immediately with a wedge of damper or corn bread on the side.


Note – this can be a made two days ahead, omitting the prawns until you reheat and serve.