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Chicken and Oyster Gumbo

1 (5 lb.) chicken
2 1/2 quart water
1 Tbsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 pint Oysters, drained (optional)
5 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. gumbo file'
3 cups hot cooked rice


Combine chicken, water and salt in Dutch oven. Cook about 1 1/2 hours until tender. Remove chicken from broth, reserving 8 1/2 cups broth. Remove meat from bones. Cut into pieces; set aside.


Combine oil and flour in Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until roux is the color of a copper penny (10-15 minutes). Add onions and parsley; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually add reserved broth to roux, stirring.


Combine allspice, red pepper and bay leaves in a cheesecloth bag. Add to broth mixture. Add pepper; simmer, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and Oysters. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and discard spice bag. Stir in file'. Serve over rice.


Yield: 3 1/4 quarts


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