Smoked Turkey and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

I’ve always been afraid to make a roux that cooks for more than one minute. After all, it is so easy to get distracted by a million other things and I am impatient! I love Gumbo so much that it is worth stirring the pot for 12 to 15 minutes. So, pop yourself a diet coke or beer and settle in for the best gumbo you have ever eaten.  PS: If you don’t smoke turkey, drive as quick as you can to Firehouse Barbeque and buy some from Tom Seaton. Please tell him I said hello!

Smoked Turkey and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

1 and 1/2 pounds Andouille Sausage cut in 1-inch coins (I use Zatarain’s or Johnsonville)
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (32-ounce) cartons Swanson’s 33% less sodium chicken broth
3 cups pulled, smoked turkey
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
12 ounces frozen cut okra
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Hot rice, 1 cup per serving
Garnish: sliced green onions, additional pieces of smoked turkey, hot sauce, and/ or Creole seasoning.
In a large stockpot, cook Andouille sausage over medium high heat until brown on both sides; about 5-7 minutes. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve. Keep drippings in stockpot. 

Add oil to sausage drippings. Turn heat to medium low. Whisk in flour and cook for 12-15 minutes, whisking the whole time with a wire whisk. (If you are like me, it is hard to stay in one place that long but you can do it!) Roux should be the color of caramel or even darker, like milk chocolate.

Reduce heat to low and add onion, green pepper, and celery. Vegetables will  cook like they are deep frying. Cook stirring the whole time for 5 minutes; scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, stirring the whole time, to mix roux and broth together (so gravy won’t have lumps). 

Increase heat to medium. Add turkey, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning. Bring gumbo to a simmer and cook 2 hours and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water, if necessary, to keep meat covered (I rarely have to add water). After 2 and 1/2 hours add okra, taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, hot sauce, and/or Creole seasoning, if needed. 

To serve: place 1 cup of rice on one side of bowl, ladle gumbo beside rice, then garnish with green onions and pieces of smoked turkey. Place hot sauce and Creole seasoning on the table for those who want more. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!
Published in The News and Neighbor on January 27, 2021.

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