It's important to stay with the pot for the entire half hour, so try to minimize distractions!
Place a roomy wide-bottomed pot over medium heat (I use my 4 qt. Dutch oven). Add the fat and flour (let the butter melt, if using). Stir into a thick paste using a flat silicone or rubber spatula.
Continue stirring, keeping the paste moving around the pot. Scrape it up with every pass so that the roux does not rest on the hot surface.
The roux will eventually begin to thin out a bit and become more fluid. Keep stirring.
You'll notice that the roux begins to darken slightly at about the 5 minute mark, and will continue to dark in stages, from beige to peanut butter to chocolate.
When the roux reaches the peanut butter color stage, pay close attention to the heat: you don't want it to burn (which is the most common reason for failure).
Begin edging the heat down, just a little, every three or four minutes (but don't go below medium-low). Keep stirring!
Sometime between the 20 and 30 minute mark, the roux will reach the milk chocolate color stage, which is exactly what you want. (Note: however, if the roux seems like it wants to burn, despite reducing the heat, stop immediately -- close enough!)
Remove the pot from the heat and let cool off a bit.
cook the proteins:
Heat the oil over medium in a saute pan. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove to a bowl.
Add the bacon, and cook until it has rendered its fat. Layer the chicken amongst the bacon, and cook until the outsides of the chicken pieces have browned and the bacon has begun to crisp. Remove everything to the bowl with the sausage. (You no longer need this pan.)
begin building the gumbo:
Place the pot with the roux back on medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and celery and stir into the roux. Cook until the veggies are softened, stirring frequently.
The roux will thicken throughout this process: don't hesitate to add a splash of broth to keep it loose, if it becomes too dry of a paste.
Sprinkle the Creole seasoning and a teaspoon of salt over the veggies, and mix well.
Add the remaining stock and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the cooked sausage, bacon, and chicken, plus their drippings, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer (medium-low'ish). Cook for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, and stir in the shrimp, crab meat, and 1 teaspoon of the file. Let the seafood cook through/warm through, until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
Keep the gumbo on low, until ready to serve.
Serve with rice, separately. If desired, mix in the other 1 teaspoon of file now, or you can skip and place the container on the table for you guests to mix in as they like.
* I prefer using a combo of seafood stock and chicken broth. If I have time and gumption, I'll make a quick shrimp stock with shells from shell-on shrimp. I've also enjoyed using mostly chicken stock, with a bottle of clam juice. Prepared seafood stock should be readily available (it's even purchasable here in my landlocked grocery stores). ** You can make the roux ahead of time - scrape into a bowl and store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using. It may be solid from the cold, depending on the fat you used, but it will melt once heated in the pan. Not only does this save time, but you can make the gumbo the next day all in one pot. Cook the proteins as directed in a roomy dutch oven, remove to a bowl, add the roux to the pot, and continue the recipe. It also has the advantage of you giving you another go at the roux, in case you burn the first batch.
Chicken Seafood & Andouille Sausage Gumbo was originally published on https://soupaddict.com/chicken-seafood-sausage-gumbo/