You may be miles from the French Quarter for Mardi Gras, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the flavors of this fun city. This recipe from Patois in New Orleans brings juicy slabs of bacon and fresh Gulf oysters together in one beautiful bowl!
Drain oysters through a fine mesh strainer, straining liquor into a stock pot; cover raw oysters and chill until needed. Place oyster liquor over medium heat; bring to a low boil and simmer until liquid has reduced by half, while skimming away all foam that gathers on the surface.
Add chicken broth, bring to a low boil, remove from heat, and keep warm until needed.
Brown bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove bacon and reserve. Measure ½ cup bacon grease in skillet, adding cooking oil if needed. Add onions to hot grease; sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with flour; stir well to break up any lumps. Reduce heat to medium and cook until dark brown, while stirring often to prevent burning, about 10 to 20 minutes.
Add celery, bell pepper, garlic, and reserved bacon; sauté 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup warm broth while stirring vigorously; repeat 3 times until roux has dissolved. Add remaining broth and stir until mixture is well blended. Bring to a low boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring often along bottom to prevent roux from settling. Skim away fat and foam that accumulate on the surface.
Taste gumbo; adjust flavor with Creole seasoning. Add reserved oysters; stir well. Return to a low boil for 2 minutes while stirring; remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Serve gumbo hot, with rice and French bread. Garnish with green onions.
Makes about 1 gallon. Serves 8 to 10.
This recipe is provided courtesy of Patois in New Orleans.