And now, as much promised, Patrice's family gumbo recipe!
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
4 or 5 pieces of cooked crab claws or legs
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or desired size
14 chicken drumettes and 2 boneless breasts cut into 2 in. pieces (retain skin on chicken until gumbo is cooked)
1 med. chopped onion
6 cloves garlic
6 sprigs green onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
5 sprigs of parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. ground thyme
8 whole bay leaves (remove before serving)
salt to taste
3 tbsp. paprika
black pepper to taste
file to taste (I like a good toss)
cayenne or chili powder to taste (optional)
5 qts water
1 cup flour
2/3 cup oil or butter
In large skillet, fry chicken until slightly brown; add sausage, onions, parsley, and green pepper. Continue to cook while stirring until veggies are tender. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, paprika, and file. Pour ingredients into water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 mins or until chicken is tender.
While waiting for that, the roux:
In a skillet combine flour and fat, cook over med-low heat about 20 mins or until mixture is light brown (caramelized slightly) stirring constantly. When it's about as thick as a sauce as you can stir, it's ready. (the roux is the important part)
Slowly and carefully add roux to gumbo, stirring until all ingredients are well combined. Add shrimp and crabs, stirring thoroughly. Continue to cook for 15 mins (or until seafood is cooked and roux has thickened the whole thing). Remove bay leaves and skim off excess oil.
Serve over cooked rice and add file or other spices at table to taste!
And, I know it deviates from the secret family traditions, but I really enjoyed adding grilled corn and other peppers for a bit of color....but you'll have to make it your own!