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Perhaps nowhere are Mardi Gras celebrations as festive as in New Orleans, where the French-Creole culture mingles with the parades, brass bands, tossed beads, and all around good fun and great food.

Try this recipe for “Sunday Gumbo” from “Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups” (Taste of Home Books) from the editors of Reader’s Digest/A Taste of Home.

Sunday Gumbo

Yield: 16 servings

1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth

²⁄³ cup uncooked brown rice

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups frozen sliced okra

In a Dutch oven, brown sausage and chicken in oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. In the drippings, saute the red pepper, onion and celery until tender. Stir in seasonings; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, rice and sausage mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Stir in tomatoes, shrimp and okra; cook for 10 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally.