Smoked Sausage (or Chicken) and Polish Sausage Gumbo

Smoked Turkey and Polish Sausage GumboWell it’s official, Christmas is over and I think I’ve eaten everything in sight for the last 2 weeks! You know the saying, “A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!” I’m sporting my “Stretch pants” and that isn’t a good look for me! Lately I’ve been trying to convince myself that I might die if don’t eat something healthy but scaring myself into dieting isn’t working… and to make things worse I’m comatose from the sweets and generally lazy!  (Can I get an AMEN from the choir?) The cupboard is bare (the kids ate everything in sight) and I swear they are just like a swarm of locusts when it comes to food, (bless their heart). I’m scrounging around in the freezer looking for something healthy to eat.

Eureka! Doc smoked a turkey at Thanksgiving and I froze the leftovers. Now I can pull them out and make this hearty gumbo. Now please don’t worry if there isn’t any smoked turkey in your freezer, you can always substitute cooked chicken or make a quick run to the grocery and pick up a rotisserie chicken (Cajun flavor would be good). This gumbo can be made in less than an hour (who has to know you didn’t cook all day… more couch time).

Happy New Year!

Smoked Turkey (or Chicken) and Polish Sausage Gumbo -4 to 6 servings

1/2 pound polish sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 chopped large green or red bell pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 cups diced smoked turkey, cooked chicken, or rotisserie chicken
Hot cooked rice; enough for 4 to 6 people

In a skillet, cook sausage on Medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour drippings into a small bowl, (Just save the drippings from of the skillet. You don’t want the browned pieces of meat on the bottom of the pan, they will burn when you make the roux. Combine dripping with enough oil to make 3 tablespoons.

Pour the 3 tablespoons of oil and drippings into a clean Dutch oven. Whisk in flour and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Whisk constantly for the whole 5 minutes or the roux will burn (you may need to lower the temperature as the roux cooks to medium) Tip: if you burn the roux, start over!

Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add sausage and chicken (or smoked turkey). Simmer, covered for 5 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Published in The News and Neighbor on December 29, 2013

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