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Day 4…What an easy choice!  Chicken and Okra Gumbo…

When I make a Chicken and Okra Gumbo, I always use a chicken and not a hen (and no roux in this gumbo!)…unlike the “Hen, Sausage and Tasso Gumbo” from Day 1 – come to think of it, there are a lot of rules when it comes to gumbos!  Maybe, that is part of the mystique behind gumbo – and, again, it changes from family to family and area to area.  So, this is my family recipe…straight from Arnaudville!

Ingredients:

1 fresh chicken, cut into pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup canola oil

2 quarts of chicken stock

8 cups of fresh sliced okra; If you can’t find fresh okra and can’t rob your mother or friend’s freezer for a pack of their smothered okra, then I guess frozen cut up pieces can do!

1/2 tsp. white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

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Season chicken with salt and pepper

Heat oil in heavy pot and brown chicken on all sides

Remove chicken from pot and place on clean tray or platter

Add okra, onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and 1/2 tsp of white vinegar (the vinegar will help cut the slimy texture of the cooked okra) and cook for about 1 hour, stirring often.  I usually buy a sack of okra in the summer, cook a large pot and freeze in quart size bags.  That cuts the time and makes cooking okra gumbos sooo easy!

Add browned chicken and stock into pot with okra, season to taste and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with white rice, garlic bread and potato salad…

I always try to keep a container of this gumbo in the freezer for those nights when I am too tired to cook (and believe it or not, there are “some” nights when I don’t want to cook!) but want some “feel good” food…

Yes, this is what I call my kind of comfort food…Chicken and Okra Gumbo – Food that Works!

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