I don't know what Gumbo is. Traditionally it was an Okra based soup, however many modern day recipes don't include Ocra. I tend to consider a Gumbo any soup which is based on a roux
, although it's not much of a soup and is normally served over rice. So here is my gumbo recipe. This may be a bit generic, but good gumbo is an artistic expression so you are encouraged to experiment.
Like I said, this is a bit rough... Start off with making a roux as described at that node. Be patient, this is the base of your gumbo. While that's going, in another skillet you want to brown your meat if applicable. My personal favorites are sausage, chicken, and shrimp. For the sausage, I prefer Andouille if you can get it, otherwise plain smoked sausage will work (but it doesn't have as good a flavor). The sausage should be sliced and quickly browned. For the chicken, I generally get chicken fingers from the grocery, as they cut up nicely. Season them with cajun seasoning (I like Emeril's Essense myself) and then quickly brown them, then cut into bite size strips. For shrimp or other seafood, just season it.
Okay, once your roux is done add in the peppers, celery, and onion into the roux and let it simmer for a few minutes until they start to soften up. Next, add your chicken stock and seasonings (garlic, thyme, any other seasonings you want) and bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken or sausage. Now you need a bit of strategy. You don't really want to add any seafood if until you're done cooking it. Now, if you completely cook the chicken and sausage before adding them in, give them about 30 minutes to cook and then add the seafood and cook for around 10 minutes or until the seafood is done. I generally like to throw the chicken in mostly raw after a quick browning, so this means I have to cook the mix for several hours (I generally go four hours on high in a crockpot). I think doing it this way makes the chicken and veggies much more tender and flavorful. Either way, just don't add your seafood until late or it will overcook.
This is a great thing to make ahead of time too, I think it tastes even better the next day, plus if you put it in the fridge overnight, you will be able to easily skim off any fat the next day. Serve hot over rice. Oh, and don't tell anyone it has Okra in it, everything cooks together over a long period of time, and the flavors and textures tend to merge. They'll never notice.