Boil chicken pieces in 1 gallon of lightly salted water for approximately 1 hour, or until done. Reserve the chicken broth for the base of the gumbo.
Wash okra and dry with a paper towel. Cut off the ends of the okra and slice into round pieces. Saute the pieces in a skillet with 1/2-cup of the butter until all of the slime has left the okra. This takes 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. You must stir the okra throughout this process to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Saute the onion, green pepper, and celery in remaining 1/2-cup butter until lightly browned. Place the cooked okra and onion mixture into the chicken broth. Add the basil, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic to the broth. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove skin and bones from chicken, and cut into bite sized pieces, and set aside. Add the chicken, sausage, and ham to the broth at the same time. Return mixture to a boil. Add the shrimp and crabmeat, and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with file, black pepper, and hot pepper, to taste.
Serve with rice.
Recipe courtesy of Janet Hill