The word “gumbo” is said to be derived from a term for okra. If you have picky eaters (like I do) this recipe can be made okra free. I personally think okra is wonderful. This recipe makes a good base for customized gumbo, including vegan gumbo**, so go ahead and add in sausage, shrimp, or crawfish– whatever your family likes. But careful! This is a never-ending pot of gumbo. Ideal for pot lucks and parties and a great way to serve up all those tomatoes you canned this year.
Gumbo Over Rice
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs or breast meat
2 Cups chopped celery
1 large purple onion
2 Cups chopped carrots
8 oz mushrooms rough chopped
5 cloves garlic
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
14 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen)
28 oz water
2 salt-free herb bouillon cubes
2 TB thyme
3 TB butter (or butter substitute for vegan version)
2 TB red wine vinegar
2 TB creole seasoning
2 TB paprika
1 TB black pepper
hot sauce to taste
Optional stir-ins: 1 cup fresh or frozen corn, 2 cups okra slices, 1 lb shell fish or sausage slices
Place chicken in large stock pot with 10 oz water. Cover and simmer while you chop the veggies. Remove chicken from pot and add everything else: veggies, garlic, dry spices, bouillon cubes, tomatoes, vinegar, and water. Stir well to combine. Cover. Chop cooked chicken and return to pot. Cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or more. Serve over rice.
If adding sausage, add with veggies. If adding fish of any kind, add in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Add optional veggies with veggies.
**This makes a hearty vegan gumbo by omitting the chicken and replacing it with 14 oz of chick peas and another 8 oz of mushrooms. 3-4 TB of nutritional yeast will give depth to the broth.