Gumbo recipe from Fine Cooking (I've tweaked it over the years):
1 c flour
1 c oil (I use peanut or canola - olive oil smokes)
Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly and being sure not to splatter it onto your skin (it's way hotter than boiling water) until it is chocolate brown. Truly, the color of milk chocolate. Let cool before adding other ingredients or it will spatter
1 head celery
2 or 3 green peppers
1 very large yellow onion
Chop into a fine dice and cook into the roux
2T. crushed garlic (about half a small head
1 t. ground cayenne
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
4 bay leaves
8 c. broth
3 lb chicken, andouille, shrimp, whatever. if it's chicken, leave it on the bone and shred it with a fork once it's cooked enough to fall off the bone. if it's andouille, cut the sausage into half or quarter slices. if it's shrimp or crawfish, toss it in whole
if using okra, I add a freezer bag at this point and then just leave it all to cook until the meat falls off the bone or the okra is tender.
if using file (use okra or file, not both) mix 1 T. gumbo file (ground sassafrss) with a couple tablespoons of cold water. add broth from the pot to make one cup, then dump the file mixture into the pot (if you just dump the file in, you'll get one very thick clump instead of an overall thickened soup.
serve over rice (I make at least 6 c rice to go with this much gumbo)
finish with tabasco and chopped scallions.
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