30 November 2014

It started ....

...with this. Garden and Gun's recipe for Leftover Turkey Gumbo. This year I cooked two 20-pound turkeys which left me with....two 20-pound turkey carcasses. When this recipe showed up in my Facebook feed, it was talking to me. This is good.


Wrong. There are a couple of things about this recipe that did NOT speak to me. The lack of info about how much liquid we were working with...two quarts or two gallons? How big was his pot? There's a lot of room for error in here, which got me to the roux....2-3/4 cups oil and three cups flour? That's a LOT of roux, and if we don't have a ballpark figure for the amount of liquid? Getting a little antsy. Then, he said boil it a while and serve it bones and all. I boiled it a long time and who knew? Turkeys have little bitty needle-like bones. Skinny little long slivers. You cannot serve bones and broth to kids...just can't do it. By now, I was beginning to wonder if the recipe author had really made this, or just had a good idea.

So! Bring in The Gumbo Pages. I have been a fan for a long time and here we have a bartender who cooks and knows what he's talking about. Chuck is...a pleasure. A treat. Come on...how much do we love a guy who announces up front on his blog:

He is also knowledgeable and looking at those two mutilated turkey remains, I needed an expert. In his listing of gumbo recipes, this one seemed to best fit what I was looking for. 

Once upon a time, before we had all these kids, The Big Boy and I spent New Year's....or was it the Super Bowl?...spent some holiday that involved a King Cake, with the Gaucheaux family in Thibodeaux LA. Elderly mom with 12 grown kids and a million grandkids, and she made gumbo. I had never had the real thing and I was disappointed. Where are the tomatoes? THERE ARE NO TOMATOES!!! Dumbass...real gumbo doesn't HAVE tomatoes. It's poor people food made from whatever is handy that can be soaked in a lot of water to feed a lot of kids...like our chicken and dumplings. Duh moment.

Live and learn. 
When you're visiting New Orleans and southern Louisiana,  these things:
1. You don't need a full 8 hours of sleep a night -- there's too much fun to be had to waste it sleeping.
2. In Louisiana alcohol, butter, cream and big piles of fried seafood are still good for you.

So I started with the Garden and Gun suggestions, switched to the Gumbo Pages suggestions, went with what was handy late at night at my small-town grocery on the Friday after Thanksgiving and......DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN!!!!! People have been asking for this recipe for two days and I'm at the place where THERE IS NO RECIPE but I'm pretty sure I can remember what was in the refrigerator. Or not, but this is still some awesome crowd-pleasing gumbo.

You're welcome ;-)


Football Saturday After Thanksgiving Thursday Gumbo

1 whole turkey carcass
Put the turkey carcass in a stock pot, cover with water, and simmer for about four hours. Place a large metal colander over a big pan and strain the turkey broth through the colander. From here, I was working with about two gallons of broth. Pick the meat...this ain't fun, but you have to CAREFULLY pick through the bones and cartilage, setting the clean meat aside..

Dice three yellow onions, one green bell pepper, and half a bunch of celery. Add 1/4 cup chopped garlic. Saute the vegetables in one stick of butter on low heat until soft.

While vegetables saute, heat one cup vegetable oil. Whisk in one cup flour, and stir over medium heat until roux is a dark brown...20 to 30 minutes. STIR! Stirring is important.
Set the roux off the heat, add the broth to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Stir in the roux. It will foam up, so keep stirring. When roux is incorporated, add picked turkey meat. Slice two pounds Conecoh smoked sausage into thin medallions and add to the gumbo. Salt and pepper to taste, and add 1/4 cup paprika. I added about a teaspoon of thyme, because I like thyme.
Serve over rice, with crusty bread, good butter, and cold beer. Bask in the glory.

1 comment:

Country Girl said...

The Gumbo Pages recipe called for sliced green onions and chopped parsley stirred in at the end. Had I had such, that would probably be a good addition. May add it to the leftovers.