Spicy Meat Gumbo


y word. I’m quite ashamed I’ve never shared this recipe before. According to the date scribbled in the front page of this cookbook, I received Jamie-O’s ‘America’ in 2009.

Dear Jess, To a future “Masterchef”! Happy Christmas 2009. All our love Mum & Dad xxx

I wonder if the quotation marks were intentional or ironic…I am my own interpretation of a Masterchef !

Anyway, I made this spicy meat gumbo back when I was at school for group of friends and it was incredible. Shamefully I then forgot about it until recently when I threw it together for some friends. I think my husband fell in love with me all over again to be honest. Its become a dish we can’t believe we’ve lived without! I haven’t changed much to the original version, which I’ll happily admit you’ll find in “Jamie’s America”. page 97, Louisianna.

Serves 4 (hungry adults)

Serve with – fluffy rice or toasted sourdough for mopping

  • 6-8 chicken pieces on the bone (I used 3 thighs and 3 drumsticks but they were small).
  • 250g fresh chorizo (fresh here meaning uncooked. This is the game changer so don’t go for the cured chorizo ring – for example, these are ideal), thickly sliced.
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500g (or 2 large) sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • Sprig thyme, leave picked
  • Sprig rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Spring onions – chopped to serve
  • Coriander – chopped to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and get yourself a large casserole dish.
  2. Heat the casserole dish to a medium heat over the hob and add a splash of olive oil. Season the chicken pieces and brown on all sides for only about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped chorizo and brown for a few minutes with the chicken.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside keeping all the lovely juices in the pan.
  5. Turn the heat down a bit and add the onion, celery, peppers and seasoning and gently soften for about 8 minutes or so until soft.
  6. Add the garlic, paprika, thyme and rosemary and stir well for a few minutes.
  7. Add the flour and coat all the vegetables in it. The flour will absorb all the lovely juices. You can now cook this gently for a few minutes as everything goes nice and golden brown. Careful it doesn’t stick.
  8. Add the potatoes, chicken and chorizo back into the casserole dish and mix.
  9. Add the stock cube and then add enough boiling water to just cover the chicken so it is all submerged and can cook nicely.
  10. Bake in the oven, lid off, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is starting to fall off the bone and the sauce is thick.
  11. When ready, use some tongs to remove the chicken pieces out the dish. Use some forks to tear the hot meat from the bones on a chopped board and add the meat back into the stew. Discard the bones.
  12. Stir through some of the chopped spring onions and coriander and scatter over the rest.

Serve with some steaming fluffy rice or some big chucks of fresh bread to mop up the juices!