Turkey Gumbo is The Perfect Use for Left-Over Turkey or Any Meat

Turkey Gumbo has become our traditional Saturday after Thanksgiving meal.  My family isn’t big on turkey sandwiches so one day of left-over turkey is more than enough.  As a result, I started making Turkey Gumbo years ago.  This recipe is from my Aunt Jeannette.  She lived in Ponchatoula, LA which is just north of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain.  She was given this recipe by some family friends who were Cajun so it is authentic.  Just remember – if you eyeballs don’t sweat, it isn’t hot enough.

Gumbo 8

 Turkey Gumbo

2 quarts stock,  use turkey, chicken, duck, or lamb (preferably homemade)

4 bay leaves

1 t white pepper

1 t cayenne

1 t thyme

1/2 t oregano

2 t garlic powder

2 t basil

1 t parsley

salt and pepper to taste

8 c turkey, chopped (or what you have), you can use any other meat too.  We have used chicken, ham, duck, goose, shrimp, crawfish, etc. and always make seafood gumbo with shrimp and crawfish for Mardi Gras

1 1/2 lb. Andouille sausage (sautéed in a skillet)

1/2 c canola or olive oil

1/2 c  AP flour

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

cooked rice

Pour the stock into a large stock pot and add the bay leaves, white pepper, cayenne, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, basil, and parsley.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes to release the aroma.

Gumbo 1

Add the chopped meat and the sautéed Andouille sausage.

In a medium skillet, heat the canola or olive oil to very hot.  (CAUTION:  this is the time to keep small children, pets, and pesky husbands out of the kitchen.  You are making a roux which is often referred to as Cajun Napalm because it is very hot, sticks to skin, and easily causes third degree burns!!!)

Gumbo 2

Once the oil is hot, pour the flour into it reduce the heat to medium and immediately start stirring.  You want to create a nice color to the roux.  (The grains of flour are opening up and absorbing the oil, this will cause the flour to caramelize.  Be careful not to let it burn.  Black bits in the flour is burnt and it will be bitter.  Throw it out and start again.)

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Gumbo 4  The color of your roux is decided by what kind of gumbo you are making.  Light roux for chicken and seafood gumbos, medium or dark for wild game.  (With that being said, we prefer a medium dark with everything)

After you have reached the color you want, add the chopped onion, bell peppers, and celery (these three veggies are called the “Holy Trinity” and are very common in Cajun/Creole cooking.  If you every see a Holy Trinity called for, you will know what they mean).  The addition of the veggies will stop to cooking of the roux.  Stir them around then carefully add to the stock pot.  Now just let everything simmer for 30 minutes and serve with hot steamed rice.

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