Gumbo is a native dish of Louisiana and comes from the Bantu word for okra, which helps thicken this spicy stew. Be warned – there’s no quick way to make gumbo, save for reheating it from frozen. If you can, space making this out over two days – make the stock the evening before and chill to collect the excess fat. If you are really pressed for time, however, you can cheat by using ready-made stock and a roasted chicken. I’m not convinced the results are quite as good, but it will save you about three hours’ of work. Gumbo tastes better after a bit of a rest, so either make it in the morning or leave it for a day.
If you want to make a vegetarian gumbo, simply increase the amount of tomatoes and okra. If you have excess gumbo, it freezes very well.
If you do not have any Cajun spice, you can make your own by combining: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.