For the stock: Start with the stock by peeling and de-heading the shrimp. In a 5 to 6 quart pot add a tablespoon of oil, and when hot cook the shrimp peels and heads until slightly toasted. Add the live crabs and cover the pot to steam for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the stock ingredients except the water and sweat the vegetables. Add half the quantity of water and boil for half an hour. Add the remaining half of the water, bring to a boil, and then lower heat and keep on a low boil for 1 1/2 hours.
For the roux: While the stock is boiling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In an oven-proof saucepan make the roux by heating up the oil, add the chicken and brown, then remove and place in a baking dish in the preheated oven. Add the flour to the hot oil in the saucepan being careful that the oil isn't too hot or the mixture will boil over. Cook this until it begins to get lighter in color, then put in the oven, stirring a few times until it turns mahogany brown.
For the gumbo: While the stock is boiling and the roux is in the oven, start the gumbo. In a large pot add 1/2 cup oil and sausage and render the sausage a few minutes to extract the flavor and grease from them. Add the vegetables and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl mix the seasonings and add to the gumbo pot when the onions have turned transparent. Stir to release the flavorful oils, then add the tomato paste.
Take the chicken out of the oven and let cool. Take the roux out of the oven and cool slightly before adding to the gumbo pot. Strain the stock.
To the gumbo pot, add the roux and mix well. Add the diced tomatoes and half the stock and scrape the bottom of the pot well. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add more stock, as needed. After about 30 minutes, taste and correct seasonings, adding salt as needed.
Pull the chicken meat from the bones and chop to desired size. Saute the shrimp and any other fish you want and add to the gumbo with the okra. After simmering a few minutes the gumbo is ready serve - however it will taste better after resting several hours or until the next day.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Cesar Labrador at Keegan's Seafood Grille in Indian Rocks Beach, FL
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