¼ cup olive oil
½ cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, steamed, seeded, and chopped
¾ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground thyme
½ tsp pepper
2 cups water
42 oz canned tomatoes
2 lbs chicken drummettes, skinned
¼ tsp cayenne
2 hot chilies, minced
1 bay leaf
½ lb andouille or polish sausage
½ lb fresh okra, ends trimmed, cut into ½ inch slices (or ½ lb frozen sliced okra, thawed)
½ lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 Tbsp file powder, optional
8 cups hot cooked rice
In an 8-10 quart pan, mix oil and flour until smoothly blended. Set over medium high heat and stir constantly with a long handled wooden spoon until mixture turns dark red brown and smells toasted, about 12 minutes. (If it begins to smell burned, remove pan at once from heat, let cool, discard roux and begin again.)
Remove pan from heat and stir in onion, garlic, thyme, and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft when pierced, about 15 minutes.
To pan, add water, tomatoes (including juice), chicken, cayenne, chilies, and bay leaf; stir, breaking up tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered, until chicken is no longer pink in the thickest part, about 30 minutes.
Slice sausage diagonally in ¼ inch thick slices, add to pan. Cook, uncovered over medium heat until the sausage is hot, about 10 minutes.
(If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 3 days. Reheat, covered, over low heat until simmering; stir mixture often).
Add okra and shrimp, cook, uncovered, over medium heat until shrimp turn pink, about 4 minutes. Remove gumbo from heat and stir in file powder. Skim off fat and discard. Spoon about 1 cup cooked rice into each wide soup bowl and generously ladle gumbo over rice.