Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Smoked Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

December 27th, 2010 · 13 Comments

Turkey Stock
Turkey Stock

We saved the leftover turkey bones, wings, legs, and about three pounds of meat from the Thanksgiving dinner, and I froze all of this to use in this Holiday Gumbo. The original turkey was about 22 pounds, and with this size bird, there is plenty of leftovers to make a wonderful turkey gumbo.

Serve with steamed or boiled white rice with this healthier gumbo version, it has no roux, no oil or butter, and is thickened only with the okra and filé slurry.

Gumbo Filé
Gumbo Filé

A short history of Filé
Filé is ground sassafras leaves, and is a popular flavoring agent used primarily in gumbo, some soups and stews in Cajun and Creole recipes. Gumbo filé powder is a necessity for cooking authentic Creole or Cajun cuisine. Quite simply, gumbo filé powder is the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree.
Long before the use of filé powder for Creole and Cajun cooking, American Indians pounded sassafras leaves into a powder and added them to soups and stews. In addition to contributing an unusual flavor, the powder also acts as a thickener when added to liquid.

Filé Powder Slurry
Filé Powder Slurry

Before adding a large amount of the filé powder to your gumbo you will want to create a slurry by whisking it into a small quantity of cool water, then adding this slurry to the gumbo. This will prevent any lumps of the powder forming in your final product.

 

A word on kitchen scraps: In the stock portion of this recipe you will find that I mention using any kitchen scraps. In my kitchen I keep a kitchen compost bin with various organic material that eventually gets recycled in my outdoor garden compost bin. These scraps consist of various items such as onion peels, garlic skins, carrot shavings, unwanted celery stalks, herb twigs and stems, tomato peels, and such. These are typical food scrap items that can be added to any stock and result in added flavoring and richness of taste. Use these scraps for all your liquid stock needs.

A Pictorial Step-By-Step

Step 1. The turkey stock, close to 8 cups of finished liquid. Gather up the turkey wings, legs, and bones, onions, celery, carrots, and any other kitchen scraps you may have on hand and place them into a large stock pot and cover with the cool filtered water. Bring to a simmer, and then keep covered on a low simmer for up to 8 hours. Strain and reserve the turkey stock liquid. Allow the turkey parts to cool, and then remove the meat from the bones.

Finished Turkey Stock
Finished Turkey Stock

Step 2. In the large stock pot add the strained turkey stock, turn the heat to high, and then add the chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer over medium heat.

Gumbo Step 2
Gumbo Step 2

Step 3. Add the smoked sausage, the tasso, all the spices and bay leaves, the Worcestershire sauce the stewed tomatoes, and okra. Bring back to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Tasso
Tasso

The stewed tomatoes added.

Stewed Tomatoes
Stewed Tomatoes

Add the okra.

Add the okra
Add the okra to gumbo

Step 4. Add the turkey meat, the filé powder slurry, Crystal hot sauce and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.

Chunked turkey meat
Chunked turkey meat added to gumbo

Step 5. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Season to taste
Season to taste
Ingredients
For the stock…
5 Lbs. Turkey wings, legs, and bones from a 22 lb. avg. turkey carcase.
1 Gal Filtered cool water
For the gumbo…
3 Cups Onions, chopped
3 Cups Celery, chopped
1 Cup Bell pepper, chopped
12 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lb. Smoked sausage, sliced
4 Oz. Tasso, diced
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tsp Thyme
1 Tsp Basil
3 Each Bay leaves
1 ½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 ½ Cups Stewed tomatoes, chopped
3 Lb. Okra, sliced
3 Lb. Turkey meat, cubed
4 Tbsp Filé powder plus ¼ cup cold water, whisk to make a slurry
1 Tbsp Crystal hot sauce
To taste Salt and pepper
Procedure Steps:
1. Gather up the turkey wings, legs, and bones, onions, celery, carrots, and any other kitchen scraps you may have on hand and place them into a large stock pot and cover with the cool filtered water. Bring to a simmer, and then keep covered on a low simmer for up to 8 hours. Strain and reserve the turkey stock liquid. Allow the turkey parts to cool, and then remove the meat from the bones.
2. In the large stock pot add the strained turkey stock, turn the heat to high, and then add the chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Add the smoked sausage, the tasso, all the spices and bay leaves, the Worcestershire sauce the stewed tomatoes, and okra. Bring back to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the turkey meat, the filé powder slurry, Crystal hot sauce and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.
5. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

To Serve: Ladle portions into soup cups or bowl and serve with steamed or boiled white rice.

Yield: 32 cups

Gumbo is ready!

Gumbo is ready!
Gumbo is ready!

Cup of gumbo!

Cup of gumbo!
Cup of gumbo!

We served our gumbo with a batch of Cajun Country Rice, we received 3 pounds of the samples, and this is a great white rice in the Cajun tradition, perfect for any gumbo or Cajun and Creole preparation that calls for white long grain rice.

Cajun Country Rice
Cajun Country Rice

Bon appetite!
CCR
=:~)
©2010 CCR

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Tags: Cajun · Creole · Culture · Recipes · Soups

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 torviewtorontoNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    lovely pictorial and soup haven’t made with turkey before

  • 2 GloriaNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    You’ve taken your visuals to a new level with this posting. I want a package of that rice just for the package and I love the shot of okra in action. And the recipe sounds pretty yummy too!

  • 3 kateiscookingNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Ryan, you’ve outdone yourself with the photography!!!! Beautiful!!! After our big party on the 7th, I’ll have accumulated a whole turkey carcass and four turkey breast carcasses so I’ll have plenty for stock-making!

  • 4 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Kate,
    Sounds like a great plan for making a big batch of turkey stock and gumbo too!

    Bon appetite!
    CCR
    =:~)

  • 5 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Torview,
    Thank you so much, I try to give a play-by-play when I have the photos and time.

    Gloria, So glad you appreciate the visual additions. Thank you so much!

  • 6 SortachefNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Great tutorial, Ryan, and lovely photos. We’ll be cooking this one up for New Years.
    Here’s hoping your holidays are splendid! 🙂

  • 7 KitaNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I have been itching for a pot of gumbo so bad recently. I tried to convince my daddy to make some this week but he doesn’t sound like he will… Well, I guess I need to roll up my sleeves and get to cooking because this isn’t make my craving go away.

  • 8 DrickNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    very seldom do I make gumbo without roux but when I do, I rely on the okra for thickening, file I add at the table…. I have seen some recipe where it is added at the beginning of the simmer, but I was always taught that is just wrong, doesn’t it break down after long cooking times? I see where you bring it in right at the last…

  • 9 Kate @ Diethood.comNo Gravatar // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Chef, this sounds incredible – my mouth is watering! Love it!

  • 10 Emily @CleanlinessNo Gravatar // Dec 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Dee-lish!

  • 11 MichelleNo Gravatar // Dec 28, 2010 at 10:51 am

    This looks fantastic – perfect for a winter day and watching football!

  • 12 The Mom ChefNo Gravatar // Dec 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Wow that looks fantastic. I think I need to get my hands on that filé powder. I’ve only made gumbo (yaya gumbo from Gourmet) and it had a roux that I stirred for 45 minutes until it was the color of mahogany. Yours looks like it would have incredible flavor without the flour and butter irritation.

  • 13 fooddreamerNo Gravatar // Dec 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I love this recipe! As it is, I just made turkey pot pie with our leftovers from Thanksgiving but I am saving this for the future!