We wanted to try making a Gumbo after visiting the Deep South a few years back, and although this is a non traditional version, it is quick and easy to make and has a fabulous kick to it.
Finely slice the celery, dice the pepper, finely chop the onion, finely slice the garlic, trim and split the leek and slice thinly, chop the tomatoes and slice the chicken into bite sized chunks.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pan / casserole dish and brown the chicken in batches, transferring to a plate as you go.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan and stir in the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Cook briskly stirring often for about ten minutes until the vegetables are juicy and soft, but not brown.
Add the leek and cook for another two minutes.
Dissolve the stock cube in a pint of hot water. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the vegetables, stir and cook for a minute before adding the chicken, rice and stock. Bring to the boil then immediately turn down the heat and simmer for about ten minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Meanwhile cover the prawns with the Tabasco Sauce and leave aside whilst the Gumbo is simmering.
Add the prawns and the tomatoes to the pan, heat to taste and add salt to season.
I like to chop up the leaves from the celery I've used and add that to garnish the dish.
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