2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
1 pound chicken breast tenders, diced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced or double the amount of white meat
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage, casings removed and diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons-1/4 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (for mild-moderate heat)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or broth (32 ounces)
3 cups chopped okra, fresh or defrosted frozen
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes in puree (14 ounces)
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (several sprigs), chopped, divided
8 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
2 1/2 cups white enriched rice, prepared to package directions
Pre-heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, and 1 pound of the diced chicken. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of poultry seasoning. Brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Chop your veggies while it's working.
Add half the andouille to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer the chicken and sausage to a dish and repeat with remaining the chicken and sausage, remembering to season the diced chicken as you go. Return the pan to the heat and add the butter.
When the butter melts, add the chopped celery, peppers, onion and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes to begin to soften the veggies. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the stock or broth and bring the liquid up to a boil. Add the okra, chicken and sausage to the boiling broth; then stir in your tomatoes and half of your fresh thyme. Bring back up to a bubble, and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavors and adjust your seasonings.
Garnish with the remaining chopped thyme and the scallions. Scoop cooked white rice into the center of each bowl of gumbo using an ice cream scoop. Enjoy!