Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Dried Shrimp

1 large fryer chicken (3 to 4 lb), skinned
1 lb of hot smoked sausage
One 4 oz pack of dried shrimp (soaked in 2 cups of warm water)
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup flour
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3/4 tsp creole seasoning
1-1/2 gallons of water (cold)
1 tbs of chopped onion tops end parsley

Cut up fryer chicken, remove skins. Wash chicken, drain water. Season chicken, set aside.

Make roux by browning flour in hot cooking oil until the flour is very brown, but not burned. A roux takes constant stirring over medium heat as it browns, lower heat. When desired color is reached, immediately remove from the hot burner to a cold one or roux will bum. Continue to stir roux until it stops frying.

In a large pot, add cold water and roux. Let roux dissolve as it comes to a boil over medium heat. Add seasonings except parsley and onion tops. Let mixture come to a boil again until vegetables are limp. Add chicken, sausage and dried shrimp with water to gumbo pot. Let gumbo cook over medium heat about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

The gumbo is cooked when grease (oil) rises above the gumbo liquid. Skin excess grease from the gumbo pot. Chicken should be tender but not failing off the bone. Check to see it gumbo is seasoned enough, if more is needed, add creole seasoning to suit your taste.

Simmer gumbo on low heat. Add onion tops and parsley. Gumbo file' may be added to gumbo bowls if desired. Serve over mounds of hot rice, potato salad and parsley, buttered French bread.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana