Dinner’s Ready: Carolyn Lungaro’s Mama Cs Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Dinner's Ready- GPP JAN. 2023

“Watching people have a good homemade meal brings so much joy to my heart,” shares Carolyn Lungaro, owner of Mama Cs Cajun Cookin’ in Pensacola. “Watching my Cajun grandmother and my mother in the kitchen has made me what I am today. That is how I learned to do most of my cooking. It’s important to know I cook Cajun Gumbo, not Creole.”

Carolyn, her husband of 28 years, Roger, and their daughter Rachel relocated to Pensacola after Hurricane Katrina devastated their home in Central, LA in 2016. They lost everything and had to start entirely over as a family.

“As a child, I always dreamed of attending culinary school and becoming a chef,” shared Carolyn. After relocating to Florida and not being able to secure any office-type work, she decided to join her daughter and attend Pensacola State College.

“As a mom, that dream was beyond my mind, but in 2022, my dream came true, and both my daughter and I graduated from PSC – her with a degree in English and myself with a culinary degree.”

With her schooling behind her, Carolyn opened her own small catering business – Mama Cs Cajun Cookin’. She is hopeful that the addition of a food truck will come soon!

“I am the main cook in the house,” Carolyn giggled. “Shortly after Roger and I were married, he fixed me breakfast, which was not edible! I asked what he put on my scrambled eggs, and he replied, “ALL the seasonings in the cabinet.” We made a deal from that day on… I COOK!”

Carolyn has many awards and trophies for her gumbo, which she was awarded during her time in culinary school and from various cooking competitions. So, when we asked her what recipe she would like to share for this month’s Dinner’s Ready Feature, it was no surprise she said gumbo. Bon appetite!

Mama Cs Chicken & Sausage Gumbo


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces-with skin on
  • 1 lb of andouille sausage or your choice
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup olive oil or peanut oil
  • 8 oz large onion, diced small
  • 6 oz celery, diced small
  • 6 oz bell pepper, diced small
  • 6-10 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 lb or frozen (1 bag) okra, diced
  • 1 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, bay seasoning or one bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash of liquid smoke
  • 1 pint of chicken broth


  1. In a cast iron dutch oven place 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil is heated to about 350 degrees, fry the chicken. It’s okay if it’s a little pink. Place on a plate to use later.
  2. Add the remainder of the oil and flour, scraping bottom of cast iron. Brown flour for about 45 minutes on medium high temp. Color of flour should be similar to dark chocolate.
  3. Add trio (celery, onion, and peppers). Cook for about 5-8 minutes, add minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth and can of Rotel as you’re stirring to prevent sticking at the bottom.
  4. Cook for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add okra and cook until tender, and then season.
  5. Add chicken and sausage.
  6. Let simmer for about 1 hour.
  7. Served best over cooked white rice.

NOTE: When adding chicken broth make sure you add little at a time and get roux to your liking.


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