This is my Dad’s recipe for an easy Cajun chicken Gumbo. You can use chicken breast fillets if you prefer, but I love the flavour you get from meat cooked on the bone, as well as the texture it gives when stripped off. The combination of spices and herbs is what really makes this one of my all-time favourites.
4 cooked chicken thighs, meat stripped from the bone
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
300g okra, chopped (you can buy frozen okra, which is much cheaper)
3 tbsp plain flour
600ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chilli powder or flakes
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp parsley, plus extra for garnishing
2 spring onions, sliced
Ham, chopped (optional)
Fry the onion, celery and carrot in oil. When softened, add the bay leaves.
Mix in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring continuously so that there are no lumps.
Pour in the chicken stock gradually, stirring all the time, before adding the cumin, paprika, chilli, basil and parsley. Add the stripped chicken meat, then leave to simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped peppers, okra, and a generous crack of black pepper. Check for seasoning, adding more chilli if it needs more of a kick. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with rice, and sprinkle with the spring onions, parsley and chopped ham if you’re using it.
Adapted from BBC Good Food