Chicken Gumbo China Nite Style

December 11th 2015

As a young child I remember one thing about Sunday nights in my hometown....Chicken Gumbo was the soup du jour at China Nite. It was my favorite thing in the whole world, and once I saw what a traditional gumbo actually was, the only resemblance to my my childhood fav was okra. A magical mix of barley, tomatoes, heat, chicken and ginger/soy flair, I'm pretty sure it had medicinal properties. China Nite's chicken gumbo no longer exists nor does the building as it was knocked down years ago. The only thing more depressing then your childhood haunts abandoned is having them no longer stand at all. So as the raintastic winter continues here in Portland, I felt that this recipe was appropriate, a comforting reminder of my time being a kid. This is in no way the "exact" recipe who knows where that is, but it is an interesting take on Creole cuisine mixed with Chinese flavors, to the best of my guestimation and has a nice cleansing type affect on the body...
You will need:
1/2 Cup dry barley
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups roasted chicken, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, medium dice
1/2 medium onion, medium dice
2 ribs celery, medium dice
1 cup frozen, cut, okra, if you have fresh by all means use it.
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced in half
2 green onions, rough chopped
3 T. Soy sauce
1 12.5 oz can tomatoes with green chilies
2 T. assorted herbs chopped, use what you like, mine had rosemary, thyme, basil, and flat leaf parsley, plus a bit for garnish.
3 cloves garlic, minced.
I am assuming you already have water, salt, pepper.
In a large soup pot, add barley and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, turn down to low and let simmer. While the barley cooks, combine chicken stock, with ginger, green onions, and soy, bring to a slow rolling boil, then turn to low, let steep 10 minutes, remove ginger and onions, add now flavored broth to barley, add the rest of the ingredients, check for salt add if necessary add, pepper. Let simmer at least an hour. Top with herbs.