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Spicy Turkey Gumbo

After cooking up a ginormous turkey this past weekend, I had a lot of leftover turkey to deal with. I was throwing ideas around in my head ( lots of room in there) and after much consideration I finally came up with the idea of making turkey gumbo. Gumbo is a rich, hearty soup or stew  which originated in Louisiana. It consists primarily of a rich stock, meat or shellfish, the holy trinity of vegetables - onion, celery and bell peppers, and some type of thickener - okra, a dark roux made from flour and fat, and/or file powder, which is made from ground sassafras leaves.

Okra is a green vegetable that has a slimy texture that many people find unappealing. I like to use a dark roux in my gumbo and finish with a bit of file powder. This is a spicy, richly flavoured gumbo and a great way to turn the boring turkey leftovers into something a little more exciting.

Spicy Turkey Gumbo
 (about 6 servings)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 links of cooked Italian sausage, spicy or mild
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups turkey stock
1 or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 26. oz. can diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
pinch of brown sugar
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

hot cooked rice and sliced scallions for garnish
about 1 tsp. file powder

In a large heavy saucepan, cook oil and flour over medium heat. When the roux gets golden brown, reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until roux is a dark brown, stirring constantly. Watch this mixture very closely, if it burns even slightly it is ruined and you will need to start over. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeno to pot and cook until softened. Add the garlic, paprika, thyme and bay leaves, cook one minute. Add turkey stock, bouillon, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire, brown sugar, sliced sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat and cook for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Skim off any fat that has risen to the top. Add diced turkey and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in file powder and hot sauce to taste. Serve over hot rice and garnish with scallions.

Tags: Turkey, Soup, Leftovers, Gumbo

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