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02/2012: Every winter, around February (Mardi Gras, anyone?), we get the urge to make a rich, thick gumbo. This one is really satisfying and not difficult. It's a variation on a recipe of Paula Deen's from the Food Network. Assemble all your ingredients before starting.

Makes 8-10 servings - freeze leftovers in individual serving containers
Preparation time: about an hour
Total Cooking Time: two hours



3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon pepper or to taste
1/2 cup lard
1 pound Andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
¾ - 1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 Tablespoon hot chile sauce (we use Sriracha, available in pretty much all grocery stores in the Asian section)
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish

4 cups hot water
5 beef bouillon cubes (or 5 teaspoons bouillon granules)
1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1 pound small shrimp, shelled and tails removed 

Gumbo file seasoning
Cooked Rice



Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the lard in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove; chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the Andouille sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the melted lard, add 2 Tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the onion, garlic, green bell pepper and celery; cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, thyme, Tony Chachere’s, and the hot chile sauce; add the 1/4 bunch chopped parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and the bouillon cubes, whisking constantly.

Add the chicken and sausage back into the mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is just done.

Spoon cooked rice into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of gumbo file. Ladle gumbo over rice and sprinkle with more gumbo file. Garnish with parsley if desired.