Smoked Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo

6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/3 cup safflower or peanut oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on heat preference
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water (can substitute clam juice)
2 bay leaves
1/2 pound okra, cut into coins
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 green onions, diced
Chopped parsley
Cooked rice for serving

In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon bits, drain on a paper towel, and set aside. Add the sausage to the bacon grease and cook until edges are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the oil into the pan along with the bacon grease and sausage drippings. When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour. Continue cooking, stirring nearly continuously, until the mixture turns a golden brown life a coffee with cream color, about 10 minutes. Add in the remaining oil and the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, celery seed, cayenne, and the black pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomatoes and the white wine. Slowly stir in the stock and the water until they are incorporated. Add the bay leaves. Cover, bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Add the reserved sausage and then the okra and cook another 10 minutes, just until they are tender. Gumbo will thicken quickly after the okra is added. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes until just opaque along the center. Stir in the green onions just before serving. Serve over rice, garnished with parsley and bacon bits.

Makes 8-10 servings

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