3/4 cup oil (Canola or Vegetable)
1 cup all purpose white flour
Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron pot and add oil. Once oil is heated, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly until all is blended. Continue to cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until flour and oil blend to form a brown roux the color of a dark copper penny. The longer you cook it, the darker the roux will become. Remember don't rush the cooking of the roux; allow the mixture to develop at its own pace. Transfer to cooking pot and add warm water to hot roux for thickness desired.
The mixture will make 5 quarts gumbo juice or one large fricassee dish. Many cooks add onion, bell pepper, and celery mixture right at the end of the cooking process. This spreads the flavor through out the roux. You can double or triple the recipe and store the unused roux in a covered container in your icebox for weeks to be used for future dishes.
Roux can be used to flavor or thicken gravies. A dish made with roux always taste better the next day or if frozen the next time it is reheated. If you push the roux too far or burn the roux, the flavor becomes too bitter to use. Throw out and start again.
You'll need a big pot! If you can make roux in the huge pot do that but if not, add it to the pot you will cook the gumbo in...
1 to 2 pounds chicken wings
1 to 1-1/2 pounds andouille sausage, sliced about 1/4" thick on the bias (you may substitute hot or mild smoked sausage if good andouille isn't available) and/or fresh Creole hot sausage, browned
4 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 blue crabs, cleaned, broken in half and claws pulled off (or for a more elegant looking gumbo, omit and instead add 1-1/2 pounds lump white crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage)
3 pounds okra, sliced (leave out if you don't like okra, but be sure to add filé at the end if you leave out the okra)
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions with tops, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
5 ribs celery, chopped
several cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Creole seasoning to taste, (Zataran's) OR
black, white and cayenne peppers, to taste
Salt to taste
Few dashes Tabasco, or to taste.
1 - 2 tablespoons filé powder (ONLY IF YOU DON'T USE OKRA!)
Steaming hot Louisiana long-grain rice
5 quarts chicken stock
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with Creole seasoning and brown in the oven. Slice the sausage and brown, pouring off all the fat (especially if you're using fresh Creole hot sausage).
Sauté the onions, green onions, bell pepper and celery if you haven't already added them to the roux, and add to the roux. Add the chicken stock...(you need a huge pot). Add the chicken and sausage(s). Add the bay leaves and Creole seasoning (or ground peppers) to taste and stir.
Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer; let simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep tasting and adjusting seasonings as needed.
Add the okra and cook another 30 minutes or so. Make sure that the "ropiness" or "stringiness" from the okra is gone, add the parsley, crab halves and claws (if you're using them). Cook for another 15 minutes, then add the shrimp (and if you've omitted the hard-shell crabs, add the lump crabmeat now). Give it another 6-8 minutes or so, until the shrimp are just done, turning pink. Be very careful not to overcook the shrimp; adding the shrimp should be the very last step.
If there is any fat on the surface of the gumbo, try to skim off as much of it as possible.
Serve generous amounts in bowls over about 1/2 cup of hot rice -- claws, shells, bones and all (if you've made the original "rustic" version). Remember that the rice goes in the bowl first, and it is not an optional step, despite the trend among some New Orleans restaurants to serve a riceless gumbo.
You may, if you like, sprinkle a small amount of gumbo filé in your individual serving for a little more flavor; just remember that if you're making a filé gumbo, it should be added to the pot off the fire for its proper thickening action.