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Squirrel Gumbo
This makes a restaurant-sized pot of gumbo. This is Milton Valentine's recipe. Amounts are approximate. Use your judgment for quantities.
2 1/2 cups cooking oil, divided (you may need a little more or less)
2 large bags sliced frozen okra
2 large onions, chopped
1 large can stewed tomatoes
30 squirrels, cleaned well, de-musked
cajun seasoning blend
up to 1 1/4 cups flour
chopped creole veggie blend (about 1 gallon ziptop bag full)
 (creole veggies: bell pepper, celery, onion - usually, garlic and green onion are added)
5 pounds sliced smoked sausage

OPTION: You may want to use some chicken or beef stock in place of some of the water.

In a large pot, add about 1/2 cup oil. Over medium-high heat, add the okra, onion and stewed tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes, then turn down the heat, add the lid and let the okra simmer until it breaks down to your liking.

The squirrels should be well cleaned and de-musked. Marinating is a good idea. In a cast iron pot (about 6 qt size), add 1 cup oil and turn to medium heat. Brown the squirrels in the oil, frying in batches. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season the fried meat with a cajun seasoning blend (Milton uses salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.)  NOTE: you can season the meat before frying, but I find that the seasoning turns black when frying in batches, so I prefer to season the meat right out of the pot.

When you're done frying the squirrels, assess the amount of oil left in your cast iron pot. You need at least 1 cup in the pot. Add what you need and when the oil is at a medium-low heat, add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time to make a roux. Stir well. You want a nice, medium dark roux.

When the roux is the color you want, add in the gallon-size bag of chopped creole veggies. Stir the veggies in well. When the veggies soften, it's time to add everything to the gumbo pot.

The gumbo pot should have the okra and tomatoes in it. Add enough water (and/or stock) to fill the pot halfway. Bring to a boil Add the roux-veggie mixture by scoops, stirring in well. Once the roux is all incorporated, add the fried squirrels and sausage. Lower heat to a good simmer and let the squirrels get tender. Should take around 2 hours. Taste for seasoning -- add more cajun seasoning or hot sauce to taste.

Questions about this recipe? Watch Milton do it right here:

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