Preparation / Directions:
This recipe is adapted from several different gumbo recipes. Gumbo is a kind of stew served over rice. It is thickened with either okra or file (fee-lay) powder (ground leaves of the sassafras tree). In the past, okra gumbo was made in the summer and file gumbo was made in the winter. Okra was used to thicken the gumbo in the summer because that was the only time fresh okra was available. Of course, these days you can get just about anything anytime of the year. File powder was used in the winter when fresh okra was unavailable. If you can't abide the slimy texture of okra then you should probably omit the file. It doesn't really add any flavor but thickens the gumbo with a slimy consistency very similar to okra.
Smoke the sausage in the smoker for about 2 hours. I like to use cherry wood when smoking sausage. When cooled, slice into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices and set aside.
Put the chicken stock in a large pot and put on the stove to come to a boil while you are making the roux. Combine the chopped vegetables in a bowl.
Make the roux. In a heavy pan, preferably cast iron, add the vegetable and heat over high flame. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the roux is a dark reddish-brown, almost black. Be careful not to let the roux burn. The best way is to lower the heat and whisk until the roux is the right shade. This may take 20 minutes or so. If the roux burns you should throw it out and start over. When the roux is the right color dump in the chopped vegetables and stir.
Add the seasoning mix. Cook, stirring frequently for about ten minutes. Spoon the roux mixture into the boiling stock. Add the sausage and minced garlic. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the file powder. Serve over plain cooked rice with some French bread. You can sprinkle additional file powder over the serving if desire