The Chowhound Team split this tangent from a discussion of gumbo in Los Angeles.
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Since there is no good gumbo, here's a foolproof recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cut flour
Cook. Low heat. NOT NON-STICK PAN. Stainless steel or cast iron. Cook until dark red/brown. It might take 45 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded.
A big one. Add roux (butter & flour) and saute 1 large onion, 1 cup red peppers, 1 cup celery. Then add about two to three cloves of garlic.
In separate pan, brown 2 lbs chicken (i prefer breasts) Add to dutch oven. Add one drained can (14.5 oz) of tomatoes.
Cover with stock (homemade is best; seafood stock from Whole Foods is amazing)
Add two bay leaves, two teaspoons of fresh thyme, teaspoon of cayenne, few shakes of red pepper flakes, fresh cracked pepper, some fresh parsley. And a pinch of sugar or honey. High heat.
While coming to boil, in same pan you cooked chicken, brown 2 andouille sausages. (Go to Wurstkutche downtown...they have the best). When nice and brown, add to dutch oven. Bring to boil.
Cook for 45 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups (thereabouts) of FROZEN OKRA. It works much better than fresh. Cook ten more minutes. Take off heat. Cool for several hours. Then put in the fridge (after removing bay leaves) and chill overnight. Sounds nuts but the flavors will grow exponentially.
When ready to serve, heat up to simmer. Add 1 pound de-veined shrimp and just barely cook them -- like 2 minutes.
Serve over rice. File is an absolute must (It's not Gumbo without file in my mind) Go get some and sprinkle over.
Works every time...