3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 bay leaves
1 bottle amber or dark lager beer (like Abita Turbo Dog)
12 cups chicken broth
Gumbo crabs, broken in half or quartered (optional)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
1/2 pound firm white fish filets
2 dozen oysters, shucked, with their liquor
1/2 pound cooked crawfish tails
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the flour and stir constantly with a large wooden spoon to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate, about 30 to 40 minutes. The
darker the roux, the richer the flavor, but be careful not to let the flour burn!
2. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the beer, stir to blend, and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and mix to blend
with the roux.
3. Add the crabs and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. (If you're not using crabs, just cook what's already in the pot for the same amount of time.) Add the shrimp, crabmeat, and fish and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the oysters, crawfish, green onions, and parsley and cook until the edges of the oysters curl, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
5. To serve, spoon rice into the center of the serving bowls and top with the gumbo. Serve with file powder and hot sauce.