Turkey/Sausage Gumbo

Posted on  after the July 20th Cook

This recipe derives from at least 8 years of making Turkey/Sausage Gumbo using the turkey carcass. Several of those cooks are on this site: Thanksgiving 2021 is here; Christmas 2017 is here. The one in 2017 was inspired by Chef Robert Barker’s recipe on page 41 of Kit Whol’s book New Orleans Classic Gumbos and Soups. The recipe below evolved from those but like those use whatever we have on hand. The ingredient we have settled on that makes it much simpler is Rouse’s dark roux from a jar as well as Kit’s Creole Seasoning, and our homemade Creole Poultry Seasoning.

The Day Before

This is made after smoking a spatch-cocked 12-14 lb. turkey that had been dry brined and seasoned with Creole Poultry seasoning. Remove the meat of the breasts and thighs, plus the bone-in legs and bone-in wing drumsticks, and refrigerate for later. Remove the seasoned smoky skin from the breasts and thighs for the gumbo. Note – The backbone is usually not removed (as done when spatchcocking) as when smoked it adds a lot of flavor.

A parallel cook is making broth using the organs and wing tips (and perhaps the backbone). That broth is often used in the gumbo and to enhance the dog’s bowl.

Put the bones with the remaining small amount of meat, and the skin with its smokey aroma, into the stock pot and fill it half full with water. Bring it to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 4 hours. Discard the bones. Pour it through the fine screen strainer or remove the bits of bone, skin, etc. by repeated dipping. The broth can be stored in the refrigerator and later the fat can easily be removed.

The Ingredients

November 26, 2022
  • Skim the fat off of what should be about 3 quarts of turkey broth
  • 6 oz. of dark roux and about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease
  • 5 cups yellow onions roughly chopped
  • 3 cups celery chopped large
  • 2 cups bell peppers chopped large
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 shakes of Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
  • 8 small pods of fresh Okra chopped plus 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to offset the sliminess (optional)
  • 20-inch link of Conecuh Black Pepper Pork or 10 inches of Brennon’s sausage green onion + 10 inches of their jalapeno sausage or other another good flavorful sausage.
  • ~1.5 cups of our Tasso chopped into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Kit’s Creole Seasoning
  • one turkey breast and the meat and skin from both wings plus dark meat scrapes.
  • 1/8th cup Crystal Hot Sauce added when near done depending on the tasso. Often not added.

The Process

  1. In a heavy stock pot, warm up the dark roux in the bacon grease being careful it does not get too hot.
  2. Add the sausage and mix into the roux simmering for about 30 minutes. Remove the sausage to a bowl leaving the roux that does not stay with the sausage.
  3. Add about 1/3rd of the veggies to the pot with the roux. Stirred them into the roux letting it reheat. Add broth to keep it from being too thick. After 20 minutes or so added more veggies and mixed in. After another 20 minutes or so add the rest of the veggies and mixed in. Re: A helpful video about using bottled roux is here. [This stepped process, which preserves some firmness in the veggies, is from Paul Prudhomme.]
  4. Once the final third is added and begun to soften along the edges add:
    • the tasso cut into small cubes and the garlic
    • the turkey stock to the roux/veggies as the veggies are starting to wilt.
    • Worcestershire
    • Hot sauce. Note the amount needed depends on the spiciness of the tasso which could add a lot of kick.
  5. Let the stock simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours being careful to not overcook the veggies to where they are mushy while also letting the pot cook down and not be too thin. If not dark enough add more roux softened to an almost flowable consistency.
  6. Added the turkey meat chopped into 3/4 inch chunks. Let it simmer an hour or so until ready to eat.

Served with Jasmine rice topped with chopped green onions (that we often forget to add).

This makes about 5 quarts of gumbo.

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