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This is an authentic family recipe that my mother taught me in 1950 in New Orleans. It makes a great dinner party main dish. Like chinese food, it is long on chopping and assembling, but goes together and cooks rather quickly. Shrimp - First peel shrimp, keep chilled, save shells. Put shells in small pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. When water has been reduced by about half, remove from heat, cool, and strain out shells. Reserve water. Chicken and sausage - Chop sausage and chicken into medium bite-sized pieces, brown in fry pan, drain, set aside. Okra - Cut off stems and tips, slice into 1/2" pieces. Set aside. Prepare garlic, Spanish onions, green onions, celery, set aside separately. Roux - Melt butter in a large IRON pan or deep pot, add flour. Stir constantly over low heat until flour is cooked, starting to lightly brown. Care is needed here because from cooked to burned is a short but tragic step, but you can start over. After light brown, the color is all politics, it tastes good. Once the roux is cooked, stir in garlic and celery. Turn up heat a bit, say about medium, but stir constantially to prevent roux from burning. After about 1-2 minutes, dump in chopped Spanish onions and green pepper, continue stirring. After another minute or so of cooking and stiring, dump in the okra. By this time the roux appears to have disappeared, but is still there, clinging to the vegetables. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes till the okra starts to wilt and become shiny. (If you are using an iron fry pan, rather than a pot, you will now be running out of space and will need to now transfer the ingredients to a larger pot to continue.) Stir in the chicken and sausage pieces. After another minute, mix in shrimp water, the oyster juice, the bottle of Doxees Clam Juice (THIS IS THE SECRET TO THE NOLA FLAVOR!), and enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients by an inch or so. Add bay leaves, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, spices, salt and pepper. Slowly bring to a boil (over a period of five minutes or more), stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture boils, immediately remove from heat and cover. After five minutes, remove cover, add tomato, oysters, scallops and shrimp. Give a few more stirs, re-cover, and wait for 20 minutes. The declining heat from the mixture will cook, but not overcook, the seafood. From this point, this mixture should never be brought to the boil again. Now is a good time to make the rice. Check for thickness. If too thick, thin out with additional chicken stock. If too thin, add file in a separate serving bowl before adding to rice. Once file is added to gumbo, do not re-heat, as this will cause stringiness. Just before serving, mix in the chopped green onions. They should be only slightly cooked, a little wilted but also a little crunchy. Serve in soup platter, with an island of white rice surrounded by a green moat of gumbo, meat and seafood. Serve with split buttered and broiled French bread, and white wine or beer. This is an expensive dish to fix, and there should be no left-overs. If there are, then use up promptly, because of the seafood content. *
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