This is my favorite tradition of the Thanksgiving season. I always make turkey gumbo in some form the day after Thanksgiving for us to enjoy during the weekend. This year I put the turkey carcass along with some vegetable scraps, lots of water, some peppercorns, and a bay leaf in the crock pot overnight. I had about 3 quarts of gorgeous turkey stock ready the next morning.
I enjoy the chopping of the vegetables, the stirring to make the roux, the delicious aroma as the gumbo simmers all afternoon. Served over hot rice, this is a great alternative to all those leftover turkey sandwiches.
6 T. butter
6 T. all purpose flour
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 quarts turkey or chicken stock, simmering in a large Dutch oven
2 quarts water
8 oz. tasso, chopped
8 oz. andouille, chopped
2 cups cooked, shredded turkey
2 T. Creole seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
sliced green onions
hot sauce (optional)
hot cooked rice
In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When it bubbles, add flour and begin to stir. The secret of a great roux is to get comfortable, pour yourself a nice drink and stir. And stir. And stir. If you scorch the roux, throw it out and begin again. After about 20 minutes or so you'll have a dark chocolate colored roux.
Add vegetables and garlic at this point, all at once. Be careful because there may be some splattering. You don't want to get any of the roux on your skin. It will burn! Stir the vegetables into the roux and they will begin to soften. Let them cook for a few minutes and then slowing begin adding the stock to the vegetables a few ladles at a time.
Add the water and the tasso, andouille and turkey. Raise heat to bring the gumbo to a boil and add the Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper.
Lower heat to a simmer, partially cover and let cook for an hour or two.
Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add some salt at this point. Depending on what Creole seasoning brand you use, you may not need to add any additional salt.
Serve over hot rice and top with thinly sliced green onions. Hot sauce is optional.