I was also particularly excited to prepare the feast this year because I haven't been in the kitchen much lately with all of the home renovation going on.
We, of course, had the traditional roast turkey and all the trimmings. On Thanksgiving night, I made a turkey stock with the carcass and lots of onions and celery and simmered it for several hours. I knew I wanted to make a gumbo with some of the turkey leftovers.
Traditionally, gumbo is made with a nice, dark roux. Roux (pronounced "roo") is nothing more than a combination of fat (vegetable oil, in the case of gumbo) and flour in roughly equal proportions. Roux is used to thicken and flavor a sauce or soup. The lighter the roux, the milder the taste and the more thickening power it lends to the finished dish. The roux for gumbo is dark, sometimes as dark as mahogany-colored. I like mine to be a little darker than peanut butter, because it is difficult to get the darkest color without burning it.
|Traditional roux made with oil|
First, brown a cup of flour in a cast iron skillet in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. The color you are going for is somewhere around the color of peanut butter. Note that this is very...shall we say...aromatic! Make sure you have your exhaust fan on because it does have quite a nutty smell.
I browned 2 cups of flour because I plan on making the duck with apple gravy recipe sometime around New Years. The browned flour keeps for several months in an airtight container.
As you can see, there are quite a few lumps, so sift the cooled flour.
Next, combine 2 cups of cold turkey stock and add it to the 1 cup of browned flour, making a slurry. Set aside.
Next, saute your veggies (called the Holy Trinity in New Orleans: onions, celery, and bell pepper) in about a tablespoon or two of canola oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat or until clear.
Add a couple of cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Next, add the turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Homemade stock is really the way to go with gumbo and soups, but you could use canned broth in a pinch.
Next, add the roux slurry to the bubbling stock and whisk well.
Add a pound of your favorite smoked sausage, sliced, and simmer for about 15 minutes.. I used Chisesi green onion sausage, which is my favorite New Orleans brand.
If you want to cut the fat even more, you could use a smoked turkey sausage.
Add the leftover roasted turkey chunks (about 2 1/2 cups) and heat through, about 5 or 10 minutes.
If you want, you can also add okra. I like canned okra because it is "de-slimed" and adds some color and a different texture. I have previously tried using frozen okra and just don't like how it changes the viscosity. Or leave it out, your call.
Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with green onions.
Reduced Fat Turkey and Sausage Gumbo
(click here to print)
8 cups homemade turkey stock (use leftover carcass) or canned low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup flour
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
2 1/2 cups leftover roasted turkey chunks
1 tsp. creole seasoning or to taste
14 oz. can sliced okra, optional
several dashes tabasco sauce
Brown the flour in a cast iron frying pan in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently until evenly browned and about the color of peanut butter. Remove to cool, then sift. Combine the dry browned flour with 2 cups of cold turkey stock and whisk to a slurry. Set aside.
Saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper in oil over medium heat until clear, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or two. Add the remaining 6 cups turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Add the slurry and whisk well, then add the sausage and simmer on medium low for about 15 minutes. Add the turkey chunks and heat for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, then add the creole seasoning, tabasco, and okra (if using). Heat through and serve over fluffy white rice.
Gobble it down!
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