This is a very labor intensive recipe, but well worth it. I get requests all of the time from friends and family for this. My husband gets requests from co-workers, as he's shared the gumbo with them. I suggest doing your prep work (cutting vegetables & stuff) the day before to save time. You will not be sorry putting your effort into this recipe. The recipe makes a very large amount. I make it and freeze it in family portions for future use. I know that a lot of cajun recipes call for popcorn rice, but I prefer the rice I use. I use Botan Rice found in the Asian section of the store.
Put whole chicken in large stock pot. I don't bother cutting the chicken up. There's no need. Cover with water. Boil on stove for 1 hour or until chicken is falling off of the bone. Remove from heat. Set chicken stock aside. Place chicken on plate to cool. Once cooled, you will debone the chicken and remove the skin.
In cast iron skillet, put in 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of oil. On medium heat constantly stir flour and oil together. This is your Roux, gumbo base. It gets darker the longer you cook it. Do not cook too fast because it will taste burnt. I like to get mine the color of a chocolate bar. Once you have the desired color, remove the roux from the skillet because it will continue to cook in cast iron after you remove from fire.
Cut up andouille and beef smoked sausages. It can be sliced or you can half the slices if you want it smaller. Set aside.
Finely chop your vegetables: onion, bell pepper, celery, green onions, garlic and set aside.
Saute chopped vegetables in bacon grease until almost translucent, then add to stock pot.
Cut boneless skinless chicken breast in large bite sized pieces (they will shrink when they cook).
Add Roux to stock pot and add 4 cups of chicken stock from the fryer you boiled. Mix together to make sure that all of the roux is dissolved.
At this point, you'll just be putting everything into your stock pot. Add sausages, chicken breast, debone chicken from chicken fryer.
The longer you cook this, the better it is. Some people literally cook it for hours. This is great left over too. Doesn't taste like a leftover dish.
Add all of your spices, then add the Louisiana Hot Sauce, stick of butter, chicken granules, chicken stock, and water. Cook on medium/high heat until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add okra and simmer another 30 minutes. The okra will really help to thicken the gumbo.
Put a scoop of cooked rice in a bowl and using a ladle, put a generous scoop of gumbo over the rice. Sit back and enjoy. This is the ultimate comfort food. I only have it a couple of times a year. I would like to have it more often, but my body and arteries say Noooo. LOL.