One night, while shopping at the Farmer’s Market, my husband and I sampled some double smoked kielbasa. I think he thought I was a little crazy when I instantly thought of gumbo, but not after he tasted it!
Clean and cut three pounds of chicken thighs into one inch cubes. In a gallon size ziploc bag combine one cup of flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken cubes in the bag and shake well until the chicken is evenly coated.
Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the chicken well (may need to be done in stages) and transfer to a plate. This takes ten to twelve minutes, depending on the number of batches.
Add a half cup of oil to the dutch oven and sprinkle in the remaining flour to create a caramel colored roux. This is important to the texture of the gumbo. You need to stir constantly so you have a nice roux, not a burnt roux.
Once the roux turns a nice caramel color, add in two onions, three green peppers, six stalks of celery. and three cloves of garlic which have been chopped. Stirring often, cook until starting to soften. This will take ten minutes or so.
Add in six cups of chicken broth, and one can of unsalted diced tomatoes. Bring to a gentle boil, and add in two cups okra (unfortunately I could only find canned, I prefer fresh), the chicken, three bay leaves, a bundle of fresh thyme, and a few dashes of tabasco. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Approximately an hour of simmering time.
About fifty minutes into the simmering time add one pound of double smoked keilbasa (or andouille sausage, which is the traditional sausage used) and a pint of oysters in their liquid. Adjust seasoning if needed.
During cooking time, you may need to add some additional broth if the gumbo starts to get to thick. We enjoyed this gumbo with some homemade corn bread made in my favorite cast iron skillet.