The roux is the base for your gumbo. It is important to make a dark chocolate colored roux which takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. I always use an iron skillet and a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour the oil into the pan and turn the heat on low. Add the flour and stir it in mashing out the lumps. Once the mixture is free of little clumps of flour turn the heat up to medium. It is extremely important to continuously stir and to cover the entire surface of the pan. Making a roux is a very slow and tedious procedure and takes patience. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes a chocolate brown color. When your roux is done turn the heat off and add the bell peppers, onions and celery (this will arrest the cooking of the roux). Continue to stir until the mixture cools down a bit. The finished product will appear lumpy and should darken a little more. The making of the roux is the most important part of the recipe. If you burn the roux you will need to start over because it will make your gumbo bitter tasting.
The colors of the roux from cream to Hershey Bar chocolate :
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