Friday, November 28, 2014

Here's what you do with leftover turkey -- Turkey Gumbo!

This starts with simmering the carcass for a few hours. 

 Throw in some onion and left over veggies if you like.  When it’s done just put the whole pot in the fridge.  Or if there is no room and if you live where I live, by the basement door where it’s cold.  You can skip this step but I think it adds richness to the stock.

The next morning, take the carcass out of the pot and pick off the meat.  I’m a terrible carver so there’s always plenty left on the carcass but there’s always something.  You can also use leftover turkey you carved.  Save that for later.  Strain the liquid and save that.  Freeze it in quart bags.   Keep a pint out. It should be very gelatinous.

What makes a gumbo is the roux.  

It’s all about the roux.  This takes time. You need to stand by the pan and watch and stir your roux.  You don’t want it to burn.

A roux is equal parts fat and flour.  I had fried up a bunch of bacon for loaded mashed potatoes so I used a quarter cup bacon fat and a quarter cup flour.  You can use butter, olive oil, lard, any fat.   

Melt the fat, and add the flour and mix it well.  Then cook on low heat until it is a dark caramel color. It takes about 40-45 minutes.  Don’t rush it.  Stir it and don’t let it stick to the pan.

Then add 1 chopped onion and one chopped red bell pepper, a few cloves garlic, chopped and stir it up so that it is all covered in the roux.  

This is when I add the spices. 

 Salt, pepper. You can add cayenne pepper if you like heat.  I use Penzey’s Cajun mixture.  And sage, since sage is good with turkey.  Stir it up and cook low for about 5 minutes.  

Add about a half cup wine.  Red wine, white wine, whatever.  It will become a big sticky glob.  That’s what you want.  Cook that on low for about 10 minutes.  

Add your pint of turkey stock.  Depending on how thick and rich that stock is, you can add water (or wine) to thin it to your taste.  I like it thick.  I also add about a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Add the turkey.  You could add some carrots. Turn up the heat and bring that to a slow boil. Then dump it in the slow cooker (or turn heat down again) and cook it for about two hours. Eat it with rice.  It’s rich and tasty. 

You will want to make sure you have enough left over turkey to make this every year.

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