This Louisiana favorite is made easier by utilizing your crock pot, to make it even simpler you can prepare this recipe through step 2 and refrigerate the mixture overnight, reheat in the morning (the mixture will have solidified) and add to your crock pot. Just like traditional gumbo, this recipe includes seafood and poultry with sausage and is flavored with a dark brown roux. Roux is nothing more than flour cooked gently in some type of fat to form a paste that is used to thicken sauces.
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 medium onions, minced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried
Salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
12 ounces fresh okra, sliced ½ inch thick, or frozen cut okra, thawed
2 bay leaves
4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (about 12 medium), skin removed and trimmed
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering. Gradually stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, working out any small lumps. Cook, stirring constantly, reaching into the corners of the pan, until the mixture has a toasty aroma and is deep reddish brown; about 20 minutes. (The roux will thin as it cooks; if it begins to smoke, remove it from the heat and stir constantly to cool slightly.)
2. Stir in the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth in a slow, steady stream. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
3. Once simmering, transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the sausage, okra, and bay leaves until evenly combined.
4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and nestle it in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender, 4 to 5 hours.
5. Remove the chicken to a platter and let cool slightly. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the slow cooker and remove as much fat as possible from the surface using a large spoon. Using two forks, shred the chicken, discarding the bones and fat. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the shredded chicken, scallions, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve with rice.