Monday, December 30, 2013

Smoked turkey

Turkey Gumbo has become a tradition the day after Thanksgiving at Sue & Chris.  The turkey stock is started Thanksgiving evening as clean up after the meal progresses.  The stock is stored in the refrigerator overnight for use in the preparation of the gumbo the following morning.  The gumbo simmers on the stove all afternoon as various family members venture out to join the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the year.  The recipe from La Bonne Cuisine (first published in 1980 by the Episcopal Churchwomen of All Saints', Inc. in New Orleans - I actually purchased a second copy when I saw one in New Orleans, since my original copy, a gift from my sister, had become quite dog-eared after many years of use - This remains one of my all-time favorite cookbooks) always makes enough to freeze plenty to enjoy later on a cold winter nights like the recent ones with temperatures well below zero.

This year we didn't get around to making our Day After Thanksgiving Gumbo in November with so many family members to transport to the airport, including both our boys who were leaving out of Chicago O'Hare, nearly 3 hours away.   When we saw fresh turkeys on sale at Costco for $.49/lb after Christmas, my husband picked a couple up to smoke in the Big Green Egg.   So we had an opportunity to cook up a batch this year after-all.


1 turkey carcass
2 turkey legs or thighs
1/2 c. bacon grease
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 c. flour
8 ribs celery, chopped
3 large onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1 lb. okra, sliced
1 c. smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco (to taste)
12 oz. canned tomatoes
1 1/2 T. salt
4 slices bacon, cut in 1" pieces
1-2 bay leaves
cayenne (to taste)
1 t. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
4 c. rice, cooked

Crack the turkey carcass into several pieces.  Place the turkey carcass and legs in a soup kettle with 3 quarts of water and 1 t. salt.  Boil for 1 hour.  Remove the carcass and legs and cool.  Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.  Reserve the stock and meat.  In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the grease and oil.  Add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook until dark golden brown.  Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley.   Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the okra and sausage and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Add 2 quarts of the turkey stock and 2 quarts of the water, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tomatoes, salt, bacon, bay leaves, and cayenne.  Simmer, covered, for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add the turkey meat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Just before serving, add the brown sugar and lemon juice.   Sever in heated gumbo bowls over rice.  Serves 16-18.

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