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Chicken Gumbo

ingredients

serves 6-8
3 1/2 - 4 lb(1.6-1.8 kg) chicken
1 lb (455 g) smoked ham or bacon joint (large cut of meat with bone; roast)
2 tbsp groundnut (peanut) or sunflower oil
1 large onion., peeled and sliced
1 lb/455 g tomatoes., peeled., seeded and chopped
1 lb/455 g okra, trimmed and sliced
parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
1 dried red chilli, seeded
3 pt/1.7 l water
12 shelled oysters
seasonings and the water

method

1. Joint the chicken into 12 pieces and dice the ham into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Brown the chicken and ham together, then add the onion, tomatoes and okra.

3. Cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes, season lightly and add all the cayenne pepper or chilli powder to taste

4. Bring to the boil, skim the surface, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Add the oysters and more seasoning if needed.

5. Cook for 2-3 minutes more,

6. remove the parsley stalks and serve immediately.

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