Chef Folse's Death by Gumbo

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 12 Servings

Comment:  This gumbo was created for Craig Claiborne of The New York Times. When he asked me to come to his home on Long Island to create a special dinner depicting the evolution of Cajun and Creole cuisine, I knew this unusual dish would be the perfect choice.

Ingredients for Quail:
12 boneless Bobwhite quail
1½ cups cooked white rice
salt and cracked black pepper
1 tsp filé powder
2 tbsps chopped parsley
12 (⅛-inch) slices of andouille
12 oysters poached in their own liquid

NOTE: Although it is best to use boneless quail for this recipe, you may also use bone-in birds if boneless is not available. Season birds inside and out using salt and cracked black pepper. Season cooked white rice with salt, pepper, filé powder and chopped parsley. Stuff cavity of quail with 1 tablespoon rice, 1 slice andouille, 1 oyster and a second tablespoon of rice. Continue this process until all quails have been stuffed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Ingredients for Gumbo:
12 stuffed and seasoned Bobwhite quail
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups flour
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup sliced tasso
3 quarts chicken stock (see recipe)
1 tsp thyme
salt and cracked black pepper
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped parsley

Method:  In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until golden brown roux is achieved. (See roux recipes.) Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.
Stir in mushrooms and tasso. Cook an additional 3 minutes then add chicken stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Stir in thyme, bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes. Season to taste using salt and pepper. Place stuffed quail into gumbo and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
When quail are tender and legs separate from body easily, remove birds to a platter and keep warm. Strain all seasonings from gumbo through a fine sieve and reserve gumbo liquid. Return stock to pot, add quail, green onions and parsley then bring to a low boil. When serving, place 1 quail in center of soup bowl and cover with gumbo liquid.