I used to consider gumbo a hearty soup/stew best served in the colder months. Then my sweetie said that because it usually contains okra —gumbo, in fact, means okra in many West African languages — it should be a summer soup.
I did some research just to double check its seasonality, and boy, did I fall down a rabbit hole. I’ll spare you details, but the soup was originally thickened with okra so it would be most available during the summer months.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1/2 cup oil/fat
1/2 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces okra, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
Creole seasoning, to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
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Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound chicken breast, chopped
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced, for serving
Chopped parsley, to taste, for serving
Cooked white rice, for about 6 servings
Toss chicken with a little Creole seasoning, if desired. Then, brown chicken and sausage in a large Dutch oven, with a little bit of oil, if desired. Cook until chicken is cooked through and set on a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
Add oil or whatever fat you desire to Dutch oven. (To be honest, I use a little bit of bacon fat to add to the taste so I did half fat and half oil.) Slowly add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
Add bell pepper and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add stock, okra, seasonings (an additional 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning if you used it to spice the chicken), and meats. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for about an hour.
Prepare rice while soup cooks. Just before serving, slice scallions and chop parsley. Spoon rice into a bowl and then ladle soup. Top with scallions and parsley and enjoy!