Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

The richness of your turkey broth is the secret of your gumbo, so season up. Cover the carcass (leave a little meat on the bones) with water about 2 quarts. Add a quartered large onion, a stem of celery, two chicken bouillon cubes, a bay leaf, a small carrot and salt and pepper to taste. Boil several hours until meat falls off the bones. When cool, pick meat from bones and set aside. Strain broth.

Now comes the fun. Like every other Cajun recipe,”first you ,make a roux.” This isn’t really difficult, just time-consuming. But be paient and slowly brown two-thirds cup vegtetable oil with 1/2 cup flour, stirring constantly. This will take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour; the color you want is that of pecan shell.

When the roux reaches the right color, immediately add:

2 cups chopped onion

Two-thirds cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (tops too)

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

2 tablespoons finely minced parsley

a ham hock or bits of finely chopped ham

Saute the above until vegetables are soft.

Then add a little water and your turkey broth slowly, stirring constantly. Raise the heat to a boil while you add: .

3 or 4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

pinch of red pepper

1 teaspoon thyme

2 bay leaves

Lower the heat to simmer; add turkey meat bits and about a pound of smoked sausage, cut into small cubes or slices. We use a Cajun sausage, andouille, that is made in south Louisiana, but any good hot sausage will be good.

Then sit back and let your gumbo simmer and fill the house with a delicious Cajun aroma. Takes about an hour or more.

Remove gumbo from heat and add 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons file’ powder and stir. Let the gumbo stand in the pot for 5 minutes then serve in gumbo bowls over boiled converted rice.

P.S. If you prefer to use okra as a ‘thickening agent instead of file’, just add your okra to the roux with your other vegetables.