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The BEST way to get rid of Thanksgiving leftovers

Started by medimus, November 29, 2020, 06:01:43 pm

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In New Orleans' French Quarter there's a wonderful restaurant called, simply enough, The Gumbo Shop.  Their food is fantastic, and they've published a cookbook (or maybe more than one, I don't know).  In that cookbook is a recipe that is the absolute best way I've ever found to get rid of that huge mound of leftover turkey.  A while back I asked them if I could share it, so with their permission here it is.  Enjoy.

Turkey and Hot Sausage Gumbo

Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 8 to 10


1 1/2 pounds cooked turkey meat
1 turkey carcass
1 lb. Chaurice sausage or other fresh hot link sausage
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 T minced garlic
1 T filé powder
2 bay leaves
1 t thyme
1/2 t basil
1/2 t sage
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 t salt
2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 quarts turkey stock


Trim as much meat as possible from the turkey carcass and cut about 1½ pounds of meat into bite sized pieces.  Set aside.  Break the turkey carcass into several pieces and place in a stock pot with 3 quarts of water.  Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.  Strain the stock and set aside.

Meanwhile, slice the hot sausage into ½-inch rounds and spread out evenly on a sheet pan or shallow baking pan.  Place in a hot oven (400 degrees) and allow sausage to brown, about 20 minutes.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour off the rendered fat. Set the sausage aside.

In a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven, melt the butter over a medium high heat.  (If you wish you may replace part or all of the butter with the rendered sausage fat).  Whisk in the flour and make a dark brown roux.  As soon as it is the proper color add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery.  Sir well and cook until tender, from time to time allowing the vegetables to stick a bit and then scraping up the bottom of the pan.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the bay leaves, thyme, basil, sage, white, black and cayenne pepper, and salt (I add the filé here too, the recipe doesn't specify when to add it but it works for me here.)  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, repeating the sticking and scraping process.

Slowly pour in the turkey stock, mixing well.  Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the reserved turkey meat and sliced cooked sausage and bring back to a boil.  Lower the fire and simmer for 15 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning, skim off any excess fat, and add a little more stock if the gumbo is too thick.  Serve in large bowls over steamed rice.


Make this gumbo on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It's tastier than most other recipes for leftovers, and soothing after a rigorous day of Christmas shopping.  The hot sausage called for is Chaurice - a peppery fresh (not smoked) sausage of Spanish origin.
In the early 18th century, families from the Spanish Canary Islands settled in what is now St. Bernard Parish, where their proud descendents, known as "Isleños" carry on many ancestral traditions.

Source: Gumbo Shop cookbook