Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo (490x490)

Yesterday my daughter Sara Heald called to complain that, after a lifetime of enjoying my turkey and sausage gumbo, she couldn’t find a single published recipe that reflected how I actually make the stuff. So I talked her through the batch she made and wrote up the “updated” recipe. The photo Sara sent me is proof in the pudding.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound smoked sausage, cut in chunks or coins

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

Creole seasoning to taste

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 pound frozen cut okra

1 cup chunky tomato salsa

3 cups chopped cooked turkey meat

10 cups turkey or chicken stock

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Louisiana hot sauce

Steamed white rice

Chopped green onion

Heat the olive oil in a kettle or soup pot with the sausage over medium-high heat, cooking until the sausage is crispy and brown around the edges. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook until softened. Season sausage and vegetables with Creole seasoning, crushed red pepper, lemon pepper, garlic and onion powders. Stir in the cut okra and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the salsa, stirring to incorporate 1-2 minutes. Add the turkey meat and the stock. Stir and heat just to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

In a separate pot, combine the flour with the oil to form a thick paste. Cook over Stir over medium high heat, stirring often, till it begins to darken where it touches the pan. Stir to bring up the brown and mix with the still white roux until paste becomes thick and dark brown, 12-15 minutes. To stop roux cooking at desired color, carefully add a cup full of liquid with vegetables from the gumbo pot. Stir, being careful not to get burned by steam. Add more liquid and vegetables until a smooth, reddish mash is achieved. Incorporate this into the gumbo in increments until it reaches your desired thickness. Add hot sauce to taste, along with additional Creole seasoning if needed. Let simmer for 1 hour for flavors to meld. Serve in bowls over steamed white rice. Sprinkle with green onion. Serves 8-10.

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