Recipe: Cajun Hen Gumbo

Savor the South Sampler header image

Gumbo: a Savor the South® cookbook, by Dale CurryEvery Tuesday this summer we’re featuring a new recipe on the blog from one of our Savor the South® cookbooks. Each little cookbook in our Savor the South® cookbook collection is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, bacon to catfish, one by one each volume will stock a kitchen shelf with the flavors and culinary wisdom of this popular American regional cuisine. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways, and a treasure of some fifty recipes—from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere. You’ll want to collect them all.

Today’s recipe is from Dale Curry’s Gumbo. Curry, who served as the New Orleans Times-Picayune food editor for twenty years, is also author of New Orleans Home Cooking. She now writes about food for New Orleans Magazine. Curry’s recipe features a favorite gumbo ingredient in southwest Louisiana: hen! Enjoy this gumbo over rice for a hearty meal with family and friends.

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Cajun Hen Gumbo

Using a plump hen is a favorite way to make gumbo in the Cajun Country of southwest Louisiana. A fatty hen gives more flavor, and it is easy enough to skim the fat from the surface as the gumbo cooks. Cajuns generally serve the dish with whole pieces of the hen, but the meat can be taken off the bones after cooking, if preferred. Hens are tougher than chickens and must cook longer.
Servings: 6


  • 1 hen (5- to 6-pounds)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper freshly ground, to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil divided
  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb tasso cut into 1/2-inch pieces`
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 med onions chopped
  • 6 green onions chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped