1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sliced okra (about 8 ounces)
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Heat oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until it is hot and shimmers, about 3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle flour into the pot, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to prevent any lumps from forming. Cook, stirring constantly (and taking care to scrape out the corners of the pot), until roux is dark brown (it should resemble melted chocolate), about 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or other large pot, brown the sausage for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay and the rest of the herbs & spices. Cook until vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Add in check and cook 4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, cook 1 minute.
Slowly stir in reserved chicken broth, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then stir in okra and andouille. Slowly pour in darkened roux and stir to mix thoroughly. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste gumbo to check for seasoning. If necessary, add more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over cooked white rice or with french bread, topped with scallions and parsley.