This is a very easy gumbo to cook in the crock pot. Just make the roux, toss everything together and forget about it for a few hours. Add the shrimp and file' at the end and serve with rice. Also, this is just a catch-all for gumbo. Some like it with tomatoes, some don't. You don't have to use the ingredients listed here. You can just make it shrimp, or chicken, or crab, or whatever you want. It's your dinner.
For the roux:
3 T flour
3 T vegetable oil
For the gumbo:
1/2 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" slices
1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cubed
1 cup onion, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup bell pepper, small dice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups stock (chicken or seafood)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 (14 1/2 oz can) tomatoes, drained
1 T (more or less to taste) file' powder
For serving 3 cups cooked rice
Optional: If you would prefer okra thickened gumbo, remove the file' and add 1 1/2 cup cut up okra with the rest of the vegetables.
Heat a heavy saucepan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and let it get hot. Sprinkle in the flour a bit at a time while stirring. Once all the flour is added, turn the heat down to medium (if it starts to cook too fast, lower heat) and keep stirring as the flour cooks. It should start to darken and smell toasty. Keep going. You should slowly cook it for at least 10 minutes, stirring almost all the time. Once it is dark brown, but not burned, add to the crock pot.
Add everything to the crock pot except the shrimp and file'. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.
Add the shrimp to the gumbo and let cook another 15 to 20 minutes until the shrimp is cooked. Then add the file' and let it thicken the stew. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice and lots of Louisiana Hot Sauce. Note: I actually like whole pieces of chicken in my gumbo as well. Brown the chicken and add it with the rest of the ingredients. Adds more body and flavor.