Southern Chicken Gumbo

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Serves 8

Gumbos (poultry, meat, fish or shellfish) are typícal of Creole cookíng with okra added to give the soup its glutinous quality. The soup evolved from a Choctaw Indian dish.

Ingredients
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 pound fresh okra, sliced or two 10-oz. packages
frozen okra, sliced
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken stock or bouillon
4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped or
one 16-oz. can tomatoes, well drained and chopped
2 parsley sprigs and 1 bayleaf tied together
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 or 4 half chicken breasts
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
chopped parsley for garnish

Optional:
1/2 cup rice, cooked and hot
1/2 cup heavy cream

Procedure

[1] In a frying pan melt the butter or margarine. In it sauté the okra slices. Sauté them until the stringiness, that will show itself as white threads due to the heat, disappears. Stir often (cook about 15 minutes). Set aside.

[2] In a soup pot melt the remaining butter. In it sauté the onion and green pepper for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir until all is well blended.

[3] Now pour the stock over the vegetables and stir vigorously. Add the sautéed okra slices, tomatoes, parsley and bayleaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Also add the skinned chicken breasts. Bring to a boil and then simrner, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

[4] Remove the chicken and cut the meat into small cubes. Return to pot. Add the Worcestershire sauce and taste for seasoning. Do not let boil again!

[5] Add the cream, if used. If desired, place a tablespoon of hot rice into each soup plate and ladle the soup over it. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: This soup reheats and freezes well

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