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Chicken Gumbo

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Ingredients

3 whole pastured chickens (about 3 pounds each)

Mirepoix of 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, and 1 onion, chopped

4 bay leaves, divided

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 freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon bourbon-smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon gumbo filé

2 quarts cooked rice

1 pound scallions chopped

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

Tabasco to taste

Directions

  1. Add chickens to a very large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, skimming foam from top occasionally. Add mirepoix and 2 bay leaves and simmer for 3 hours. Drain and reserve broth. Cool chicken long enough to remove all meat from the bones, then shred chicken by hand and reserve.
  2. In a large enameled stock pot, add flour and vegetable oil. Stir constantly over low heat until the color of milk chocolate, about 30 minutes. Add onion, celery, and bell peppers, and all dried spices except the 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, add a little reserved stock. Add pulled chicken meat and cook for another 30 minutes. Taste gumbo and add salt, hot sauce, and gumbo filé.
  3. Serve gumbo family-style with cooked rice, scallions, chopped parsley, and Tabasco.
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