1. Cut first 2 ingredients into bite-size pieces. Place in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, 20 minutes or until browned. Drain on paper towels. Wipe out Dutch oven with paper towels.
2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 25 minutes or until mixture is a dark mahogany.
3. Stir in onions and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 18 to 20 minutes or until tender. Gradually add broth. Stir in sausage, tasso, thyme, and black and red ground peppers.
4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in shrimp the last 15 minutes of cooking; stir in parsley. Remove from heat; serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish, if desired.
: Omit chicken thighs and proceed with Steps 1, 2, and 3. Proceed with Step 4, stirring in 4 lb. medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and, if desired, deveined, the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Philip Elliott, Baton Rouge, Louisiana