Let's Eat, Wining & Dining

Turkey and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Let’s Eat by Charles Oppman

Turkey and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

With Thanksgiving arriving in a few weeks, we ought to consider a recipe that is a bit more interesting than the worn out leftover turkey and veggie soup. Most Americans know that gumbo is a classic soup made famous by Louisiana chefs, but it is also rooted in African and American Indian cuisines. Okra is commonly used as a thickening agent and for flavor. The slaves brought okra with them from Africa and the Choctaw Indians of Louisiana introduced filé (a spice essential to gumbo) to early American chefs.  Gumbo came out of bayous of southwest Louisiana. There is not a single recipe for gumbo, every family and every restaurant has its own. Here’s one that I learned from a veteran New Orleans’ chef who passed away during Katrina. Try this soup, you’ll love it.

Serves: 6-8 Time: 1½ hours


2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into ¼’’ slices

4 pounds turkey parts, thighs and legs (chicken, duck or pork is optional)

1 cup each parsley, bell pepper, celery and onion; chopped

¼ cup fresh garlic, chopped

6 bay leaves

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

3 tablespoons Worstershire sauce

½ cup vegetable oil or butter

½ cup flour

Hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste


In a stockpot, just cover the turkey parts with water or chicken stock. Simmer uncovered until tender, approximately 1 hour. When cooled, de-bone the turkey reserving the meat and stock. In a large, heavy pot combine the oil and flour and make a roux. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously with a whisk until the color of peanut butter. DO NOT burn the roux as this will impart a burnt flavor to the soup. If burnt, discard and begin again. To the hot roux add sausage, onions, bell peppers, celery, parsley and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are partially cooked. Add thyme, tomato paste, Worstershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add turkey stock and stir until mixture is homogenous. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Finally, add shopped turkey meat and adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaves. Serve with white ri

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