4 cups cooked long-grain rice (cooked without salt or fat)
Gumbo file (optional)
How to Make It
Combine chicken and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is done.
Spread flour evenly in a 15- x 10- x 1-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.
Remove chicken from broth; skim fat from broth, reserving broth. Bone chicken, and shred. Set aside.
Coat Dutch oven with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and minced garlic; saute until tender. Stir in browned flour. Gradually stir in reserved chicken broth, shredded chicken, ham, and next 13 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Peel and devein shrimp. Add shrimp to vegetable mixture; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Remove and discard bay leaves. For each serving, place 1/2 cup rice in individual bowls. Ladle 1 cup gumbo over each serving. Sprinkle with gumbo file, if desired.
To Freeze: Place 2 cups gumbo (without rice) in each of 4 labeled airtight containers. Freeze up to 1 month.
To Serve Two: Thaw 1 (2-cup) container in refrigerator or microwave oven. Place gumbo in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Serve over 1/2-cup portions of rice. Sprinkle with gumbo file, if desired.