Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Gumbo

The first time I remember having Turkey Gumbo was at my aunt's in Reserve, LA. My Dad's younger sister and her family served a HUGE pot of Turkey Gumbo straight from the stove. I am having a hard time remembering the exact occasion, maybe Christmas? The entire family funneled through the galley kitchen serving themselves a bowl of gumbo before the meal. It was so good. I was not there for the cooking just the eating. But I remember it being a little smokey from the sausage or maybe the turkey and it had mushrooms. I love that about the gumbos in Reserve. My maw maw and aunt put mushrooms in their chicken gumbos sometimes.

Gumbo has always been a tradition for my family on Christmas Eve. Usually leftovers become a starter before Christmas dinner. This recipe is a new tradition I have started for the weekend after Thanksgiving. My family enjoys this more than Turkey sandwiches. I got the idea from a Marcelle Bienvenu article in The Forum back in 2007 about holiday leftovers. She published her friend's Turkey Bone Gumbo recipe. I used her recipe, family gumbo recipes and memories to come up with my recipe. I use andouille for that smokey flavor. I add a tomato, that is borrowed from Marcelle's recipe. My family doesn't use tomatoes in chicken gumbo typically. I find you cannot detect it in the finished gumbo but it adds to the flavor of the broth. I also use mushrooms to remember those family gumbos in Reserve. So good! Mushrooms and turkey go together in my opinion. Occasionally if the family eats more turkey than usual, I have to go to the store for fresh turkey to add. I use turkey breast and add it to the roux after the andouille and before the mushrooms. This gumbo is so rich from the stock that my mother and I have discussed making our chicken and andouille gumbo in this style. We will see? That is for another post.

Turkey Gumbo
Makes 8 quarts, 16 servings

Broth:             1 Turkey Carcass
                        2 medium Onions, quartered no need to peel
                        2 Carrots, cut in two inch pieces no need to peel
                        3 ribs of Celery, cut in two inch pieces
                        2 bay leafs
                        1 Tbsp of black peppercorns
                        2 tsp kosher salt
                        cool water to cover ingredients

Place all ingredients in a large stock. (I use a pot with a strainer basket) Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer on medium low for two hours uncovered. Remove from heat and strain out all solids and discard. Pass the broth through a fat separator. Set broth aside for future use in recipe below.

Gumbo:        3/4 cup flour
                        3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
                        2 medium onions, diced small
                        1 bell pepper, diced small
                        3 ribs of celery, diced small
                        1 medium tomato, diced small
                        2 lbs andouille sausage, sliced into 3/8 inch slices
                        8 oz mushrooms, sliced
                        Turkey broth
                        2 1/2 to 3 lbs leftover turkey meat, cut into large pieces
                        1 bunch green onions, sliced
                        1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
                        2 cups rice, uncooked
                        Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and creole seasoning to taste

Prepare rice to package directions. Dice all vegetables and set aside. You can place onion, bell pepper and celery in the same bowl. Keep other ingredients separate.

To prepare the roux place flour and oil in a large heavy pot. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon over medium heat until roux is the color of caramel to milk chocolate. I like it just shy of the chocolate color. When roux is the correct color add onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir occasionally to make sure it does not stick. You can cover pot in between stirs. You are looking for the veggies to be soft and create liquid in the roux. When veggies are soft add tomato. Continue to cook until tomato almost disappears. Add sausage and then mushrooms. Stir until mushrooms and sausage appear cooked. Add leftover turkey meat. Slowly add Turkey broth until desired constistancy. You are looking for a full bodied soup broth not a stew. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add green onions and parsley. Check seasonings and add to taste. Serve over cooked rice in large soup bowls.

Note: Leftover stock can be frozen for later use. I had about a quart leftover this year.

Linking to:
Carole's Chatter: Food on Fridays - Leftovers

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