This Chicken and Okra Gumbo is easy to make and well worth the effort.
Although other so-called Gumbo's are made using different thickening agents, historically only those containing Okra justify being termed a Gumbo.
The reason for this is that Okra sounds like Gumbo in many African dialects and since Okra was used in the Southern States by African slaves, the name Gumbo stuck.
3 1/2 lb frying chicken
1 lb young Okra pods
10 oz corn kernels
1 lb smoked sausage
8 slices bacon
16 oz can tomato puree
4 cloves garlic
4 large tomatoes
3 large onions
2 green bell peppers
2 stalks of celery with leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
Making the Chicken and Okra Gumbo
Top and tail the Okra pods, ie cut off the ends.
Cut the pods into approximately 1/4 inch rounds.
Slice the sausage into 1/4 inch rounds
Chop the bacon finely
Mince the garlic
Pop the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, remove, peel and chop.
Peel the onions and chop 2 onions coarsely. Cut the remaining onion into quarters
Seed the bell pepper and chop coarsely
Cut the leaves from the celery and place to one side, chop the celery stalks
Place the chicken, the celery leaves, the quartered onion and salt into a Dutch oven, with sufficient water to cover the solid ingredients.
Bring to the boil, cover with lid and reduce the heat
Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender to a fork.
Remove the chicken, reserve the broth after discarding the onion quarters and celery leaves.
Skin and debone the chicken, cut into small, bite sized pieces. Reserve.
Cook the bacon and sausage in the Dutch oven, over medium heat, until the bacon becomes very crispy.
Remove the bacon and sausage from the Dutch oven, but leave one to two tablespoons of bacon/sausage dripping in the oven.
Crumble the bacon and set aside with the sausage.
Add the chopped onion, green pepper, celery and minced garlic to the dripping in the Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the vegetables become tender.
Add the chicken, reserved broth, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, tomato puree, okra, corn and thyme to the Dutch oven.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 90 minutes.
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