Friday, November 26, 2010

Go-to leftover turkey recipes: Emeril's turkey gumbo

We did a gigantic bird yesterday, and consequently, have lots and lots of leftover turkey meat. Some we froze. And some we'll use in our tried-and-true leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipes. Here's one of our favorites. Dark and flavorful and redolent of N'Awlins. What are you planning with your leftovers?

Emeril's turkey gumbo
From the kitchens of Emeril Lagasse. Recipe published at Good Morning, America
Serves 8

Note: prepare the turkey broth before cooking gumbo. We made our broth yesterday. If you've already disposed of the carcass, chicken broth would probably suffice.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound smoked sausage (such as andouille or kielbasa), chopped
2 quarts Turkey Broth (Recipe below)
Reserved turkey meat from broth
Reserved onions and celery from broth
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped

Steamed white rice, accompaniment (can be boxed instant, make as much as you like)
1 loaf French bread, accompaniment
Filé powder, (optional accompaniment - powdered leaves of the sassafras tree, available in the spice section of some supermarkets)

Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring slowly and constantly with a heavy wooden spoon for 20 minutes to 25 minutes, to make a dark brown roux the color of chocolate.

(My note: Above, the roux nears completion, getting close to the final color of Hershey's chocolate syrup. You must keep stirring. Stir, stir, stir or your roux will burn. Think of this as your post-Thanksgiving workout.)

In a bowl, season the onions, bell peppers, and celery with the salt and cayenne. Add to the roux and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the cooled broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Add the reserved turkey meat and the reserved onions and celery and cook for 15 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste. Spoon rice into the bottom of large soup bowls and ladle the gumbo on top. Serve with hot French bread if desired. Sprinkle filé powder into the gumbo at tableside according to personal taste.

Turkey Broth
1 turkey carcass
3 ribs celery, cut into 4-inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
4 quarts water, or enough to cover the carcass
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves

Place the carcass in a large stockpot. Add the celery, onions, water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming any foam that forms on the surface.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Skim any fat that has risen to the surface. Strain through a large fine-mesh strainer. Reserve any meat that has fallen off the bones and pick off any meat that may still remain on the carcass. Reserve the onions and celery for the gumbo.

Use right away or store the broth in quart containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recipe excerpted from Louisiana Real and Rustic, Emeril Lagasse with Marcelle Bienvenu, William Morrow and Company, New York, © 1996

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