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Turkey Andouille Gumbo





So what do you do with turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving? Turkey a la king? Turkey Tetrazinni? Turkey sandwiches? Turkey pizza? Turkey Tacos? Turkey tamales? Well, since this is South Louisiana, how ’bout a good turkey and andouille gumbo? My apprentice Mike Keefe says you’re sure to like his secret family recipe! Just promise you won’t give it out to everybody, okay?


1 turkey carcass
4 quarts water
1 cup chicken stock
salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1 lbs. Andoulle sausage, coarsely diced
3 Tbsp. bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1/4 cup All purpose flour
large onion, medium diced
2 ribs celery, medium diced
1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cans diced Rotel tomatoes (10-1/2 ounce size)
3 whole bay leaves
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. ground thyme
1 pint. fresh-shucked Louisiana oysters, with water (optional)
1 tsp. Frank Davis Poultry seasoning
6 cups cooked long grain or brown rice
* Click to ingredient to choose one


Start off by taking an 8-quart stockpot and simmering the turkey carcass in the water and chicken stock with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper until the turkey meat begins to fall off the bones, which should take about 2 hours total. If necessary, add more chicken stock to the pot as needed to compensate for any liquid that evaporates.
When simmering time is done, remove the carcass from the pot, let it cool slightly, and pick the remaining meat from the bones. In the meantime, though, while you’re picking the meat, continue to simmer the stock until you reduce its volume by about one-forth (this serves to concentrate the flavors of the finished gumbo).
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch non-stick skillet, begin sautéing the diced sausage, stirring occasionally to render out its excess fats. Then when the sausage is thoroughly browned, remove it from the skillet and set it aside. But immediately combine the bacon drippings with the sausage drippings and begin whisking in the flour to make a roux (one the color of peanut butter will do nicely). When the roux is ready, to stop it from browning further drop in the onions, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic and fold the ingredients into the flour well. Then remove the skillet from the fire and set the mixture aside to cool.
At this point, add the tomatoes to the turkey stock, along with the picked turkey meat, the chopped andouille, the bay leaves, the basil, and the thyme, and simmer everything together on low fire for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Then begin adding the roux a little at a time, briskly whisking it into the stock as you go. (Mike is quick to recommend that you dissolve the roux in small amounts of the hot stock in a separate measuring cup to keep it from “lumping” in the gumbo-the process is called “tempering”).
Finally, when everything is blended and the gumbo is thickened to your liking, stir in the poultry seasoning, reduce the fire under the pot once again to low, and simmer the gumbo for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. If you decide to include the oysters in your recipe, drop them in (along with the oyster water) about 10 minutes before serving. The idea is to get the oysters to “just curl,” not to overcook.
When you’re ready to eat, liberally ladle the gumbo, piping hot, over a big bowl of steaming hot rice and generously sprinkle with fresh Cajun file’. A couple of toasty Fresh bread pistolettes right our of the oven makes a nice accompaniment.