Seafood is a Southern tradition. Early on, Southerners established a tradition of fish and shellfish cookery. A diversity of waters—bayous, bays, streams, sounds and the Atlantic Ocean—produced a diversity of foods such as finfish, oysters, blue crabs, shrimp, clams and scallops. Over time, a diversity of cuisines followed.
1Thaw shrimp and crab, if frozen. Make roux in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven combine flour and oil until smooth.
Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir about 10 minutes more or till roux is light brown or the same color as peanut butter.
2Stir in onion, sweet red pepper, green pepper, garlic, salt, black pep per, and ground red pepper.
Cook over medium heat for 3 to minutes or till vegetables are just crisp-tender, stirring often.
Gradually stir in hot chicken broth. Stir in undrained tomatoes, okra, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3Stir in shrimp, crabmeat, and oysters. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes more or till shrimp turn pink and oysters curl around the edges.
Discard bay leaves.
Serve in bowls with rice.