Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.
Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat; add chicken and ham. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add onion and green pepper; continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Ladle gumbo into serving dish; serve immediately over rice in individual serving bowls.