Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until well browned and crispy, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
Add the butter and onions to the Dutch oven and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the Essence and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the okra, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne and stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the okra is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the Chicken Stock and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the salt and the reserved bacon, stir to combine, and serve immediately.
Makes 8 to 10 servings