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Pastured Chicken Gumbo

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Ingredients

3 whole pastured chickens (about 3 pounds each)

Mirepoix: 1 each onion, celery stalk, and carrot, chopped

4 fresh bay leaves

1½ cups vegetable oil

2 cups flour

2 cups celery, chopped

2 cups onion, chopped

2 cups green bell peppers

Salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried onion powder

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon bourbon-smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon gumbo filé

2 quarts cooked rice, warm

1 pound scallions, white and green, chopped

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

Tabasco to taste

Directions

  1. In a very large pot, place chickens and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim top to remove foam.
  2. Add mirepoix vegetables and 2 bay leaves and simmer for 3 hours.
    Drain and reserve broth. Cool chicken enough to remove all meat from the bones. Shred chicken by hand and reserve.
  3. In a large enameled stock pot, add flour and vegetable oil. Stir this constantly on low heat for at least 30 minutes. The final color should be the color of milk chocolate.
  4. Add onion, celery, and bell peppers, and all the dried spices except gumbo filé and continue to cook at least 5 minutes. Add 3 quarts hot chicken broth and 2 bay leaves. Allow this to cook about 1 hour or so; if it appears to be getting too thick, you can add a little reserved stock as necessary. Add pulled chicken meat and cook for another 30 minutes. Taste gumbo and add salt and hot sauce and gumbo filé.
  5. To serve, put pot out family style and serve with cooked rice, scallions, chopped parsley, and Tabasco.
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