Earnestine's gumbo

Earnestine Cole of Gautier, Miss. shared her homemade gumbo soup recipe with me. Later I was to learn from the folks she served this to that she 'neglected' to give me her secret ingredient!

Here it is anyway:

Gumbo For Six
Boil one whole chicken in about 7-8 cups of water. Don't overcook the chicken.
Cut chicken off the bones. Save the broth.

You'll also need:
1 and 1/2 lb. of medium size shrimp
whole crab (cleaned)
3 sausages

For the roux:
1 cup flour and 3/4 cup of oil
Stir together slowly on low heat until the roux turns dark.

"The darker the roux the better the gumbo," she said and noted if it isn't dark enough she may add a drop or two of Kitchen Bouquet.
Also, if you need to, add flour or a bit of cornstarch.
"You do not want a thin roux," she said.

Stir it on medium low heat for 35 to 40 minutes and make sure it does not burn.
Once it is dark brown add to the chicken broth.
Add your "trinity" which is a medium onion, three stalks celery and one large bell pepper.
Stir this into the chicken broth.

Cut up three smoked sausages. Microwave them until the oil is removed.
Add to the chicken broth. Also add the cut up chicken.

Season with:
salt and pepper
seasoned salt (Emeril's)
hot sauce (optional)

Cook on medium heat for 35 mins.
add shrimp and crab
Cook another 20 minutes.

Make rice and add.
She suggests using the celery leaves for the presentation.

The people she served this to the week we were in Mississippi assured me it was very tasty!

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