Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 12 Servings

The Cajuns of South Louisiana often included andouille and oysters in a holiday gumbo. Normally, a sack of Gulf oysters would be purchased the day before the celebration. Half would be opened for the gumbo, and the other half would be eaten immediately with a dash of hot sauce. Serve this gumbo on Christmas Eve, and you will be duplicating an age-old bayou tradition.

1 (4–5 pound) stewing hen, cut into serving pieces
4 dozen fresh shucked oysters, reserve liquid
1 pound andouille, sliced
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups flour
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
3 quarts chicken stock
2 cups sliced green onions
1 cup chopped parsley
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, whisk in flour until a light brown roux is achieved. Do not scorch. Should black specks appear, discard and begin again. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Cook 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add hen and andouille, blend into vegetable mixture and sauté 15 minutes. NOTE: For the best andouille, visit Jacob’s Andouille at 505 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, La. Add chicken stock, 1 ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 1 hour. Add oysters and reserved liquid. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Blend in green onions and parsley. Simmer until edges of oysters begin to curl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over steamed white rice.

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