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Gumbo Filé

Yield about 3 quarts


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) broiler-fryer, cut up
  • 3/4 cup country ham, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans fresh oysters, undrained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 whole red pepper pod
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Gumbo filé (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken pieces. Brown chicken and ham in butter in a large Dutch oven. Set aside.

  2. Drain oysters; add water to oyster liquid to measure 2 quarts. Refrigerate oysters.

  3. Combine oyster water and next 8 ingredients, stirring well; add to Dutch oven. Simmer 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.

  4. Remove chicken from broth; bone, and cut into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to broth. Cool; cover and refrigerate overnight.

  5. Skim fat from cold gumbo, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and add oysters. Heat thoroughly and serve over rice. Add a small amount of filé to each serving, if a thicker gumbo is desired.

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