When I was wanting a recipe for gumbo, I talked to a pharmacist that I worked with from South Louisiana. This is the recipe that she gave me (with a few changes to make it mine). I have been making gumbo this way for over 20 years, and it is always a hit. It is especially good in the spring when the weather starts cooling off.
1Boil the whole chicken in salted water until tender. Cool, remove from bones, chop, and season with salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning. Save broth.
2Season peeled shrimp with Tony Chachere's.
3Slice smoke sausage into one-half inch discs.
4Place canola oil into large black pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and simmer until vegetables are soft. This takes about 10 minutes.
5Add plain flour. Stir well. Brown until caramel in color. Add salt and pepper. Stir in well.
6Add Rotel tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes
7Add okra pods. Simmer 10 minutes.
8Add seasoned shrimp to roux (above mixture). Cook until shrimp is pink in color. This takes about 10 minutes.
9Add enough of the reserved chicken stock to make the pot about half full. Simmer 10 minutes.
10Add salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
11Add seasoned chicken and smoked sausage. Cook 30 more minutes on low.
12Turn off heat and add gumbo file. Do not stir. Cover pot and let stand one hour.
13After one hour, stir and serve over rice.
14Remember to stir the ingredients frequently to keep from sticking to bottom of pot. Add each item individually and cook by itself to introduce the taste into the roux. Be sure to let gumbo stand one hour after file is added. This seals the flavor in the gumbo. You can reheat and serve over rice, but at this point I let my gumbo sit in the refrigerator overnight. Then I put it in the crockpot on low and warm it slowly. This seems to make the flavor better.