Chicken Okra Gumbo 3

1 chicken
2 No. 2 cans okra and tomatoes
1/2 pod red pepper, seeds removed
2 lg. slices ham
1 sprig of thyme or parsley
1 tbsp. shortening
1 onion
1 bay leaf
Salt and cayenne to taste
2 level spoons of butter

Clean and cut the chicken. Cut the ham into small squares or dice. Chop onions, parsley and thyme. Put the shortening or butter in large pot -- preferably aluminum or stainless steel. When hot add the chicken and ham. Cover tightly and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the chopped onions, parsley, thyme, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Add contents of two cans of okra and tomatoes to the frying chicken, and watch constantly to prevent scorching. The least taste of a scorch spoils the flavor of the gumbo. when well-fried and browned, add boiling water (about three quarts) and set on the back of the stove, letting it simmer gently for about an hour longer. Serve hot with nicely cooked rice. The remains of turkey may be utilized in the gumbo, instead of using chicken. In families where it is not possible to procure a fowl, use a round steak or beef or veal, instead of the chicken and chop fine.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana