Okra and Chicken Stew

  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 40 mins

A Southern favorite, Okra and Chicken Stew is a hearty concoction seasoned with file powder.


3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons flour
2 medium onions, chopped
4 -- green onions, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cheopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 pounds cut okra (can use fresh or frozen)
2 -- (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
3 -- (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds cook chicken chicken (skinned and boned)
-- Hot sauce, to taste
-- File powder to taste


  1. In a large heavy kettle or Dutch oven, make a dark roux by combining oil and flour over low heat. Cook and stir, about 10 to 15 minutes. The roux will darken to a caramel color with continued heating.
  2. Add onions, peppers, parsley, okra, tomatoes, and broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add chicken and hot sauce; stir and simmer.
  4. Serve over rice, sprinkle with gumbo file.
Tip—File powder: The Choctaw Indians from the Louisiana bayous taught settlers how to use the ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree to season foods. Filé powder is especially popular in Creole cooking, especially to flavor gumbos. Adding a woodsy flavor, filé must be stirred into food after it is removed from the heat; otherwise, the file becomes trough and stringy.
Variation: Substitute 1 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp for the chicken.
Recipe by Mary Etta Moorachian, PhD, RD, CFCS. Reprinted with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The American Dietetic Association's Cooking Healthy Across America (Wiley, 2004). 



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