2 tablespoons olive oil
500 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
75 g (3 oz) ready-diced chorizo
75 g (3 oz) smoked streaky bacon rashers, diced
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
4-2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. to taste
3 celery sticks, sliced
½ each of 3 different coloured peppers, cored, deseeded and sliced
125 g (4 oz) okra, thickly sliced (optional)
chopped parsley, to garnish
boiled rice, to serve 21


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken a few pieces at time until all the pieces are in the pan, then add the chorizo and bacon and fry, stirring, until the chicken is golden.
2.Lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the slow cooker.
3.Add the onion to the frying pan and fry until softened. Mix in the garlic, then stir in the flour.
4.Gradually mix in the stock and add the herbs and a little salt and cayenne to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring.
5.Mix the celery and different coloured peppers into the chicken, then pour over the hot onion mixture. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the chicken is cooked through
6.Stir the okra into the chicken gumbo, if using. Replace the lid and cook on high for 15 minutes or until the okra has just softened. Stir once more, then sprinkle with chopped parsley
7.Ladle into shallow rice-lined bowls and serve with a soup spoon and fork.
8.FOR CRAB GUMBO SOUP, omit the chicken and make up the gumbo as above, replacing the chicken stock with 600 ml (1 pint) fish stock and adding 2 sliced carrots, 2 diced sweet potatoes and 1 diced courgette to the slow cooker pot with the celery and peppers.
9.Add 200 g (7 oz) large cooked peeled king prawns, thawed if frozen, rinsed with cold water and drained, and a 200 g (7 oz) drained can white crab meat to the pot with the okra, if using, and cook on high for 20-30 minutes or until the fish is piping hot. Serve with rice. 21:

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