This has already garnered me a best answer! I love to share it with folks who want to try good Cajun food...the recipe was handed down to me by a girl from Lake Charles almost 305 yrs ago. Spend about 25=3- $ depending on how much you have on hand and how high your grocery store is.
GUMBO FOR A CROWD
MAKE A ROUX (rue)
Pour about 1/2 cup flour into a heavy pot. Use enough
cooking oil to make a thin slurry. Stirring
constantly, cook on medium high heat until mixture is
thickend and very dark brown. This takes about 10
minutes. DO NOT burn! There is a difference.
After roux is done, remove from heat and add all at
once, two large chopped onions, 4 stalks celery
chopped fine. Return to heat and stir quickly until
sauteed in the roux. Add chicken pieces (a family pack
of boneless skinless thighs cut in rough chunks)and
3-4 large bay leaves. Cover with water and put on to
simmer, covered, on medium heat until tender. I
usually remove chicken to keep from sticking, add
later with shrimp. Add 2 large cans petite diced
tomatos, 2 large cans crushed tomatos 1 t garlic
powder, black pepper 1/8 t maybe more, one shake red
pepper flakes, 1 t chili powder, shake cayenne. Simmer
about 30-40 minutes.
Add cut up okra about 2-3 #s, Simmer 15-20 minutes
until okra is almost done. If desired, you can at
this point add any white fish filets 1-2#s, that is
cut into 2x2" chunks, (I used a can of boned
salmon)allowing them to cook about 2-3 minutes before
adding shrimp. At this point add sausage cut up into
1" slices, (I ususally pre-boil in a little water to
remove some of the grease), the chicken, 2-2# bagged
shrimp from HEB, tailess, cooked or raw and deveined.
You can at this point add any white fish that is cut
into 2x2" chunks, allowing them to cook about 2-3
minutes before adding shrimp. Bring to boil after
shrimp added, allow 2-3 minuses before serving for
shrimp to cook through or heat if pre cooked. I like
to add a # of lump crab, too, or if it is too
expensive, add a tuna size can of white shredded crab.
It adds good flavor. Before serving you should taste
for seasoning, the different seafoods could add plenty
saltiness or not. Put file gumbo on table in shaker
bottle, (it is in spice section) and encourage them to
shake some on top. It adds that gumbo flavor and helps
Serve on hot cooked rice. You can cook it simply...2
cups water for each cup raw rice, with salt and little
oil (1 t) for 15 minutes, covered, DO NOT REMOVE LID
until service. Let it sit 5 minutes after removing
from heat. Spoon into bowls and cover with the gumbo.
Call me if you have any questions. Hope you enjoy!