It’s getting cold out here. Not like Toledo cold, where it gets to -10F with a foot of snow, but Shanghai 35F cold. We’re spoiled here I know. My internal winter shell is gone. A mere 3 years out of Toledo and I’m like a baby as soon as it gets even a little cold out here.
Nothing keeps you warm like a bowl of hearty stew. Digging in my feeder I found my last bag of leftover Thanksgiving and since I am determined to empty my refrigerator and freezer before the Chinese New Year (February 3 is when we hop a plane to Borneo) Turkey will be the main feature of tonight’s dinner.
I’ve got a little secret for you. I’ve actually never made gumbo. I don’t think I’ve ever had it either so when I saw a recipe for a turkey leftover idea making gumbo I thought well why not!? This recipe is a compilation of a couple of different gumbo styles. No shrimp (little ones allergic) or pork sausage (we don’t eat pork) but instead combined turkey and lamb sausage with carrots, okra and celery.
Another little secret? I’ve never tasted okra. Never ever. Sure, I’ve heard of it. There’s a Lebanese dish called Bamyi (Okra Stew) but my mom didn’t make it when we were younger. My mother-in-law makes it but my handsome hubby wouldn’t eat it. So that was that for okra until this recipe. A good gumbo needs okra. It acts like a cornstarch to thicken the gumbo and no one wants watery gumbo am I right?
It was time to introduce okra to my family. Amazingly my awesome vegetable lady at the wet market had a fresh pile of it just screaming my name!
Why do people detest okra? Because okra is pretty slimy on the inside. You have to get over that if you’re going to eat a bowl of it but in the gumbo it really didn’t taste slimy. It just tasted like a vegetable swimming in gumbo broth. I also fried up some okra to serve on the side and give the dish a nice crunch.
May I just say fried okra is yummy!! I mean seriously yummy! I could have eaten the entire bowl. You’ll definitely be seeing more fried okra in my recipes. I think I’m in love.
The recipe is long and that might put you off but I will say that it was a really easy dish to make. It was really good and now I’m sad that I don’t have anymore Turkey to make this dish again and again and again……
Deep breath! You can always substitute chicken for the turkey.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Turkey and Spicy Lamb Sausage Gumbo
- 4 stalks Celery, chopped, divided
- 3 small Onions, chopped, divided
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil, divided
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 1 cup Flour
- 11 ounces Spicy Lamb or Beef Sausage, sliced into thick rounds
- 1 small Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4oz Okra, sliced
- 1 Carrot, sliced
- 8 Garlic cloves, minced
- 6-8 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 T Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup Hot Sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 2t Sea Salt, as needed
- 1 1/4t Black Pepper
- 16oz Shredded Cooked Turkey
- 4oz Okra, sliced
- 2T Flour
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2t Smoked Paprika
- 2T Vegetable Oil
- Brown Rice
- In a food processor, process 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine a little less than 1/4 cup vegetable oil with the olive oil and whisk to combine. Transfer to a medium sized pot, add the flour, and heat on medium. Cook stirring slowly and constantly, until the roux is brown, 15 minutes. Add the puréed vegetables, and stir to combine. Cover and reserve.
- In a large Dutch Oven or pot over moderate heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil. Add the sausage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 3-4 minutes.
- Add all of the vegetables and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, 4 to 8 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of chicken stock, thyme, cayenne pepper, hot sauce (if using), Worcestershire sauce, and the reserved roux, whisking as needed to dissolve the roux in the liquid.
- Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes.* Skim off any fat that comes to the top.
- Add the turkey meat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Cover and keep hot.
- For the garnish:
- Mix okra, salt and pepper, paprika and flour.
- Heat oil until sizzling then brown okra on each side (3 minutes each)
- Line okra on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve Gumbo in a bowl, garnished with fried okra and a side of brown rice.
*If the broth is too thick, add more chicken stock. If too thin combine 1T Flour with 3T Vegetable Oil, then whisk into the gumbo and return to simmer.