Every year for the past ten years I have been making an after Thanksgiving turkey gumbo because I do not like left over turkey sandwiches. This year I simplified it greatly and I thought I would share my recipe. The family thought it was my best so far and I think I will keep it. Really, the simplification part of the recipe is that I used pre-made chicken stock rather than boiling the turkey bones and making a turkey stock. Either way is fine.
Here is the recipe. Please enjoy it with absolutely no caution at all. Make sure you read the directions in their entirety before starting this.
4 32 oz Boxes of Chicken Stock
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Prepared Olive Oil
3 or 4 Strips of Smoked Bacon
Your Left over Turkey Meat (at least a pound)
1/2 pound Andouille sausage (or more)
1/2 pound smoked Conecuh sausage (or more)
2 pounds okra
2 Onions chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped
2 bell peppers
4-5 ribs of chopped Celery
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Bay Leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley
Tony Chachere (cajun seasoning)
Salt and Pepper
Clean Nylon stocking
The most important part of any gumbo is the roux. How it is made is the essence of the entire gumbo. The biggest mistake I see is that people put ingredients into the roux as they are cooking. What happens is that these ingredients typically end up getting burned and making the entire roux taste burned so I decided to flavor my oil.
Preparation about 5 days out:
Take your olive oil and pour into a container. Add strips of bacon and let sit for about 5 days. This will flavor your oil when making the roux for the gumbo. You can use anything to flavor your oil. The day you are going to use the oil, strain the oil using the nylon stocking to make sure you get all chunky ingredients out of the oil.
1.) Pour the four boxes of chicken stock into an 8 quart stockpot.
2.) Chop up your sausages to some nice sized chunks. It's all about preference here. Fry the chunks up in a skillet. Keep the oil but put the sausage into the stockpot.
3.) Add the bay leaves to the stock pot
4.) Add the turkey to the stock pot.
5.) Chop up the bell pepper, onion, celery, and place in a frying pan with the drippings from the sausage. Add the garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent and place everything into the stock pot. Use some of the broth from the stock pot in the pan to remove all the bits that might still be stuck to the pan.
6.) Chop up the green onions and place int he stockpot.
7.) Add about 2 tbsp of Tony Chachere and the Cayenne Pepper
8.) Bring to a boil and then let simmer.
Now to make the roux.
1.) Wet a dish towel and fold it in half and place on your counter top. You will be placing a hot frying pan on it real soon.
2.) This is the hardest part of the whole thing. This will require you to stir vigorously for about 25 to 30 minutes. Place the olive oil in the same fry pan you cooked the sausage and vegetables in. Crank up the burner to about medium high and let the oil get hot. Slowly shake in the flour stirring continuously making sure the flour doesn't clump and settle. DO not let the flour sit in any area too long. I find that alternating between a figure eight and a box with an X in it stirring patterns works best. You will continue stirring until the flour has reached a dark chocolate color. Not black, but a nice dark brown. Now through this process if you notice any black spots/flakes in the roux as you stir then you might as well stop because it is burned. Making the roux takes a lot of practice and I have to admit that having only done it 10 times in my life I still have difficulties. I usually make extra oil just for this purpose. I hope later I can get a video on how to do it. While making the roux, I will lift it off the burner occasionally, and stir to cool it a bit. it still cooks the flour but does prevent it from burning and then when I notice it is no longer boiling I will re-add it to the burner. It just takes practice.
3.) When the color of the roux is where you want it take the frying pan off the burner and place on your wet towel. Keep stirring until the roux stops boiling because it is still cooking and can still become burned even though the pan is off the burner. Let it cool for about 5 minutes.
Adding the roux to the stock pot.
1.) Stir the stockpot with one hand, with the other hand pour the roux in and with your 3rd hand scrape all the roux from the frying pan. Stir until the roux is mixed well with the other ingredients.
2.) Bring to a boil, let simmer for about an hour.
3.) Rinse the parsley well, chop it up and then place into the stock pot.
4.) Bring to a boil and then let simmer.
5.) Chop up your okra and then saute it until it is no longer sticky, slimy, and stringy...it's some nasty stuff to cook and putting it in your gumbo completely raw would ruin your gumbo. Place the sauteed okra into the stockpot.
6.) Let the gumbo simmer for at least half a day. Let it sit and meld all the flavors together. It should be ready for consumption the following day.
Serve it on some rice, add Gumbo File' and a goodly amount of your favorite hot sauce (I strongly recommend Tabasco for Gumbo).