Friday, February 26, 2010


In an effort to downsize the number of freezers we have food in (three to two, yes we are food hoarders) we decided to cook one of the two turkeys currently in our freezers for last Sunday dinner. We were pretty nervous to do this since in all past turkey cooking experiences at our house we have had someone there who knew what they were doing, and they basically cooked the turkey. So we were on our own for the first time...we even attempted stuffing. It actually turned out quite well. (Thank goodness since we invited guests to join us-all family of course just in case it was a disaster). We learned a few things for next time around but all in all it was tasty! Now this happened to be a 21 lbs. turkey, so needless to say we had tons of leftovers. I froze one whole turkey breast and still had almost a full gallon size zip lock bag full. Being determined not to waste any of it I got online for some new ideas to use up turkey leftovers, and this is what I came up with. I found it on It is one of Emeril's recipes. I had never attempted gumbo before, but have always been intrigued by it. It was a bit time consuming but well worth the effort. Next time you have turkey leftovers give it a try!

Turkey Bone Gumbo
1 c plus 2 TBS vegetable oil
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c onions, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
1 c bell peppers
cayenne (I used 1/2 tsp-toasty)
1 lbs smoked sausage, such as andouille or kiebasa, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
3 bay leaves
6 c turkey stock* (if you want the easy way out I would guess you could use canned chicken stock-not that the other is hard)
3-4 c leftover turkey meat
2 TBS parsley, chopped
1/2 c green onions, chopped (I used 1/4 c)
1 TBS File' powder
2 c cooked long grain white rice

In a Dutch oven (heavy pan), combine the oil and flour, over medium heat stir slowly and constantly for 20-25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of (milk) chocolate. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers (I used green and red) and continue to stir for 4-5 minutes, or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3-4 minutes. Add Stock. Stir until the roux mixture and stock are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Add the turkey. Simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in parsley and green onions. Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls with rice.

*Cover the turkey bones with water in a big pot. Throw in some onion (1/4 to 1/2), a carrot, celery, 1 tsp poultry seasoning. Cook for at least an hour then strain the liquid.
My brother-in-law lived in Louisiana for a couple years so he knows his gumbo. He just sprinkles a tiny pinch of the file' powder on each individual serving. (Not a must have.) I called him to clarify some of the instructions. So hopefully my adaptations to this recipe will make it a little more clear. I will have to take him some tomorrow to see how authentic it tastes.

This recipe says it makes 4 servings but it makes a ton! I would guess at least 8 if not more. You would need more rice, to feed that many but there is plenty of gumbo.

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