The fresh okra I found at the DeBary Farmers Market was calling to me so I bought a bunch of it without much thought about what I’d do with it. Gumbo vaguely seemed like a good idea. Living in a house full of seafood-haters meant forgoing shrimp and all that seafood deliciousness.
Despite being a Louisiana native, I’m not a gumbo expert. I read through a few recipes for ideas and searched my memory for childhood recipes and then more or less made this up as I went along.
Since I made it up as I went along, I wasn’t terribly organized about getting ingredients together before I started. The tomatoes and the bay leaves aren’t shown here.
- Whole Cut Up Chicken
- Andouille Sausage
- Celery, 5 or 6 ribs
- Onion, 2
- Green Pepper, 2
- Garlic, 3 or 4 cloves
- Creole Seasoning
- Vegetable Oil, one cup
- Flour, 1 to 1 1/2 cups
- Chicken Broth or Stock
- Diced Tomatoes, one large can
- Bay Leaves
- Okra, a bunch of fresh or one bag of frozen whole okra
Chop the celery, onion and pepper. Crush the garlic.
Season the chicken with Creole seasoning and salt and brown it in a large skillet or saute pan.
In a large, heavy pot heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the flour.
Cook, stirring continuously.
The roux will thicken and brown. I let it get a nice medium color.
Meanwhile, add the sausage in with the chicken and let it brown a bit too.
As soon as the roux is the color you want it, reduce the heat and add the vegetables.
Cook for a few minutes.
Add four to six quarts of chicken stock. As always, I used water and Better Than Bouillon base.
Add the tomatoes, a couple of springs of fresh thyme or a teaspoon or two of dried thyme, a couple of bay leaves and a bit more Creole seasoning.
Add the chicken and sausage to the pot, stir it all together and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, rinse and trim the okra.
Add it to the pot.
Continue simmering for a while, until the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken and sausage and let it cool until it’s cool enough to handle. Get rid of the skin. Take the chicken off the bone and put it back in the pot.
Slice the sausage and put it back in the pot. Simmer for a few more minutes then turn off the heat and let it sit for a bit before serving.
Ladle over steamed rice.
Enjoy with a loaf of crusty bread.