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Roux (see Note)
1 c Oil
1 c Flour
Shrimp shells (and heads if you've got 'em)
5 qt Water
1 Chicken, bones, backs, necks, etc. from
1 lg Onion, coarsely chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Stalks celery, chopped
1 Head garlic, cut in half
1 Stem fresh parsley
1/4 ts Dried oregano
1/4 ts Dried thyme
1/4 ts Dried basil
2 lb Okra, sliced
2 lg Onions, chopped
1 Bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Rib celery, finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 bn Fresh parsley, chopped
2 Bay leaves, whole
2 cn (16 oz) tomatoes
1 cn (8 oz) tomato paste
1 1/2 lb Smoked sausage, sliced
3 lb Shrimp, raw, peeled & cleaned (save shells and heads for stock)
1 lb Smoked ham, chopped
1 lb Crab meat
1 lb Boned chicken (save bones for stock)
1/2 ts Black pepper
1/2 ts White pepper
1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1/2 ts Tabasco (use more or less to taste)
1/2 ts Worchestershire sauce
Salt to taste
Cooked hot long grain or converted rice
NOTE: - This can be dark (cajun) or light (creole) or in between
Roux: Blend the oil and the flour in a heavy skillet or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. STIR CONSTANTLY. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL NOT TO LET IT BURN. If it even STARTS to burn, discard it and start over.
This should take 15-30 minutes, depending on how daring you were when you set the heat.
Note - The roux can be prepared in advance and refrigerated.
Stock: Remove the skin from the chicken parts and place into 5 quarts of water.
Add the onions, garlic, shrimp shells and heads, celery, carrot, and a small cheesecloth bag containing the spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 3 or 4 hours. Skim any scum that may form off the top. Strain thoroughly. Let the fat come to the top and skim off as much as possible. Use immediately or cool in ice water and refrigerate.
The Gumbo: Peel and devein shrimp. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a heavy skillet, add 2 Tbsp oil and saute the okra (if fresh), onions, garlic, bell pepper, parsley and celery. If canned or frozen okra is used, it should be added towards the end of this step.
In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, add the Stock, the Roux, and the sauted vegetable mixture and spices and start simmering. Stir ocassionally being careful not to let it burn.
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the sausage, chicken pieces, and ham. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add crab and let cook for another 15 minutes. Add Shrimp and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Serve a generous amount over a cup or so of hot cooked rice and enjoy!