Gumbo made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey
will soon be bubbling away
on back burners across Louisiana.
The number of gumbo recipes equal the number of cooks.
There are many types of gumbo.
Chicken, hen, guinea, turkey, dove, duck, goose. Rabbit, squirrel. Seafood.
Beef and pork (except for sausage) are rarely seen in gumbo.
There are also different styles of gumbo. Cajun gumbo is almost always made with a very dark roux and rarely has tomatoes and/or okra. Cajuns also tend to stick with poultry and game--seafood gumbo is not their "everyday gumbo."
Tomatoes and okra are usually found in Creole style gumbos. Seafood is more prominent as well.
My gumbo rules:
1-- I like a dark roux. A dark roux adds a layer of flavor that can't be beat. Keep in mind that the darker the roux, the weaker the thickening power.
2-- I don't go crazy mixing a lot of different meats/proteins. Gumbo is meant to feed a crowd at a low cost.
3-- And meat doesn't get mixed with seafood, except for possibly shrimp and andouille sausage. You may see chicken, shrimp, crab, and sausage gumbos in cooking magazines, but on most Louisiana tables, chicken (or other fowl or game) and seafood are not traditionally mixed.
Smoked Turkey and Okra Gumbo is probably more Creole than any other gumbo I've made.
It has a tomato-y base, is flavored with bay leaves (a common seasoning in the New Orleans area), and contains okra.
Smoked Turkey and Okra Gumbo
Turkey stock (8-10 cups)
2 large onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups sliced okra
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt, or to taste
½ tsp black pepper, or to taste
¾-1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
¾ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
6 cups leftover smoked turkey
chopped green onion
Start by making a stock with the turkey carcass, onions, celery, and garlic.
Make sure all of the vegetables are chopped before starting the roux.
Brown the sliced sausage in a large cast iron or stainless steel pot. Remove. Add oil to the pot and heat over medium. Test by sprinkling in a pinch of flour. If the flour sinks, continue heating the oil. If the flour bubbles, sprinkle in all of the flour. Slowly stir and scrape the flour, moving the mixture constantly. If pools of oil form on the surface, sprinkle additional flour over them. Continue stirring and scraping until the roux is brick red or light chocolate colored.
Immediately add the chopped vegetables (onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, okra) to stop the roux from burning. Add the tomato paste to the mixture and saute until the vegetables are tender. If the mixture is dry, add liquid from the diced tomatoes to help cook down the vegetables.
Slowly pour warm stock into the pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Add the seasoning and tomatoes and simmer for 1 hour. Add the sausage and turkey to the pot and simmer another hour.
Serve over cooked rice. Sprinkle green onion over the top of each bowl.