Using a heavy Dutch oven, make a roux using:
3 cups cooking oil
1 ½ cups flour
Brown flour over medium-low to medium heat, stirring constantly and carefully (this will splatter so beware) until flour is the color of rich brown gravy. Can take 10 minutes or 30 depending on how adventurous you are and how high your heat. Be careful this does not burn or burn you.
Carefully add the following vegetables and continue to cook over medium heat until the okra isn’t stringy.
3 to 3 ½ pounds of okra, washed and diced
3 cups chopped yellow onions
2 1/4 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
Scrape the roux and vegetables into your largest stock pot–the one you made the stock in.
Add the following and heat well, stirring constantly:
1 ½ cups chopped green onion–using green tips, too
6 to 8 cloves of pressed garlic
Scant cup of chopped parsley
3 bay leaves
3 14.5 ounce cans (or equivalent) of diced, undrained tomatoes.
1 ½ pounds cubed ham
3 pounds of hot smoked sausage, andouille, kielbassa, etc. sliced, fried and drained
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon of each of the following Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning blends: Vegetable, Poultry and Meat. (If you prefer to make your own seasoning blend, use thyme, marjoram, basil, and Creole seasoned salt.)
Tabasco to taste
Now carefully add the strained stock, still stirring constantly.
Simmer slowly for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring when needed so it doesn’t stick.
Add chicken that you used to make the stock, deboned, skin removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Divide into containers and freeze the portions you won’t be eating right away.
Ladle into individual bowls over ½ cup to 1 cup of white rice or basmati.
Smack your lips.
Makes approximately 16 quarts of gumbo to enjoy now and freeze