If live crabs aren't available, substitute 4 ounces of fresh crabmeat. For filé powder, visit CajunGrocer.com
Servings: Serves 8–10
Ingredients 4 live hard-shell crabs , cleaned1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs , cut into 1-inch pieces1/2 pound andouille sausage , cut into bite-size pieces1/2 pound kielbasa , cut into bite-size pieces1/2 pound veal stew meat1/4 cup vegetable oil1/4 cup all-purpose flour1 medium onion , chopped6 chicken wings , tips removed, cut in half at joint1/2 pound smoked ham , diced1 tablespoon paprika1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley3 large cloves garlic , minced1 teaspoon ground thyme1 teaspoon salt1 pound medium shrimp , peeled and deveined24 shucked oysters (1/2 pint) with their liquid, optional1 tablespoon file powder5 cups hot, cooked rice , to serve
In an 8-quart Dutch oven, combine crabs (if using crabmeat, add in fourth step with shrimp and oysters), chicken thighs, both sausages and veal. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture (called a roux) turns the color of pecans, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
Stir roux into pot with crab mixture. Gradually add 3 quarts of water, stirring to combine and scraping any brown bits from bottom and sides of pot. Bring to a boil. Stir in chicken wings, ham, paprika, parsley, garlic, thyme and salt. Return to a boil, then reduce heat; simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add shrimp and oysters (if using); simmer 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in filé powder. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve over rice.