Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Nibbles & Bites: Turkey Gumbo

Everyone has their own favorite ways of using up the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. In our family, it’s steaming turkey gumbo ladled over a pile of fluffy white rice. (Yes, I know, brown rice is healthier but this is a once a year thing, folks; fluffy and brown rice don’t meat too often as far as I know!)

There are as many different ways to make gumbo as their are people who make it. Here’s my way.

Turkey & Sausage Gumbo

First you make a roux from

2/3 c olive oil
2/3 c flour

Cooking to just past blond stage–enough to cook the flour completely and develop a little thickening power but without adding too much color to the gumbo.

Add in

2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

and cook for 5-10 minutes before adding

1 lb (or more) smoked sausage, sliced
1 turkey carcass with some meat left on the bones
2 smoked turkey wings (optional)
2 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 c white wine

and then enough water to cover the works. For very large turkey carcasses you may need to break it in half so as not to water-down the gumbo just to cover all the pieces.

Simmer for 45 minutes or so, then add

2 cups of cooked turkey, or whatever you have left

and continue to cook for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in

3 Tbsp file powder

and let sit for 5 minutes before serving over white rice.

Mom’s the one who likes to use the smoked turkey wings, especially if we’re shy on actual leftover turkey besides the carcass. (I know, carcass isn’t a very appetizing word but it makes a very appetizing soup!)

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker

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