Add two tablespoons avocado oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry and add to the pot (you may need to work in two batches) skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until skin is browned, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until browned, then remove the chicken from the pot.
Add the sliced sausage to the pot and cook for about 2 minutes, until browned, then flip the sausage and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, then remove the sausage from the pot.
Drain off all but two tablespoons of oil from the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and salt to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the celery and bell pepper have started to wilt. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside.
Add 1 cup avocado oil or butter to the pot over medium heat. Once warmed through (about 1 minute), add the flour and whisk the two together to combine. Continue to stir the mixture for about 12-15 minutes, until the roux achieves a peanut butter color and nutty fragrance. (Note that the roux may immediately turn brown from picking up the browned bits in the pot, but it will continue to darken in color and become more fragrant as you cook).
Stir the chicken broth into the roux, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Then, add in the chicken, sausage, vegetables, Cajun spice blend, leaves, black pepper, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for one hour.
Remove the chicken from the soup and shred with two forks, discarding the bones and skin, then return to the pot.
Add the okra to the pot, then cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, until the okra is softened and no longer stringy.
After 30 minutes, skim any excess fat off the top of the pot and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt or Cajun seasoning as needed, then serve alongside white rice!
*We recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, the total amount needed will vary depending on which Cajun spice blend and broth you use
The better quality your broth is, the better the gumbo will taste! This is definitely a place to make your own stock (if you have time) or to splurge on one of your favorite brands!