Shrimp Turkey and Sausage Gumbo
Some of my earliest childhood food memories are of the sheer perfection of gumbo. Historically, simple gumbos have been a part Louisiana's culinary legacy since before the Louisiana Purchase and the original gumbo(s) were centered around okra (and rice) and thought to have originated from Africa. Technically gumbo is defined as a soup or stew that is thickened with okra. Today it's not unusual to see gumbo recipes that don't include okra, but we like the authenticity, history, and flavor it adds. Roux-based gumbos are a French influence on the original simple gumbos and in addition to thickening-power they also add tremendous flavor and richness. This recipe originated with my great-grandmother; I got her handwritten recipe while I was at Tulane. Her original recipe called for chicken and obviously it's super easy to substitute chicken in for the turkey here. I adapted it to turkey because I was always looking for something to do with the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving and really love the mix of flavors from these three proteins.
We simmer the stock for about 24 hours to get the maximum amount of flavor out of the turkey carcass and vegetables, but as long as you let it simmer for at least 5 hours, you should be fine. The "smothered okra" does take 8 hours to reduce. It isn't hard, but it is a "stir every 20 minutes" level of commitment. We typically do a big batch all at once and freeze what we don't use so we only have to do it 1-2 times per year. You can do it as you simmer the stock or, if you don't have time, just add the raw okra directly to the roux once it cools a little. Speaking of the roux, dark chocolate roux generates a lot of smoke, so make sure your vent fan works; it's also hard to do without scorching, feel free to stop at the milk chocolate stage or just before that. Note that we call for poblano chiles instead of bell peppers, if you can't find poblanos, bell peppers are fine. This gumbo is a commitment, for sure, but it's well worth the effort and will be something your friends and family will ask for again and again.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Stock:
- 1 turkey carcass (including whole wings and drumsticks if desired)
- 2 large onions, unpeeled, quartered
- 3 ribs of celery, cut in half
- 3 leeks, cut into thirds (greens only, reserve the tender, white part for pulling it all together below)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6 poblano chiles, cut in half
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 quarts water
- 4 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction®
- 2 Tablespoons whole peppercorns
For the "Smothered Okra":
- 1 Tablespoon ghee
- 2-1/2 pounds fresh okra
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Chain Reaction
For the Roux:
- 1 cup ghee or coconut oil (or a mix)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Pulling It All Together:
- 3 onions, finely diced
- 2 cups celery, finely diced
- 2 cups poblano chiles, finely diced
- 3 leeks roots trimmed, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (the tender, white part not used in the stock above)
- 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 pounds cooked turkey, skin removed, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1-1/2 pounds smoked sausage, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into half moons, browned in a skillet
- 2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and headed (peeled if you prefer)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Tabasco hot sauce, for serving
The "smothered okra" does take 8 hours to reduce. It isn't hard, but it is a "stir every 20 minutes" level of commitment.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Both the stock and the okra need time to cook. Okra requires a minimum of 8 hours to reduce (though you can use raw okra in the recipe if you don't have time to reduce or omit the okra altogether) Stock requires at least 5 hours to simmer, but we let it simmer for 24. The following directions assume you will simmer the stock for 5 hours and want the "smothered okra". Adjust your timing and order of these directions based on how much time you have and whether or not you want "smothered okra".
Since the okra takes 8 hours, we start that first. The recipe for "smothered okra" is here on our site, but we'll also include directions here.
Add the oil to a large, thick-bottomed pot and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is warmed and shimmering, add the okra to the pot and stir to coat the okra. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and let simmer stirring every 20 minutes, adding a Tablespoon of water as needed to prevenet scorching and maintain steam in the pot. After 7 total hours, cut up the tomato and add to the pot when you stir. After 8 total hours, the okra is in final form. It can be used immediately or frozen for later use.
About the same time as you start the okra, start the stock. Prepare all the vegetables, then add them, the bay leaves, and the water to a very large stockpot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, then cover the pot to let the vegetables reduce. This should take 30 minutes or less. Once there is room in the stockpot to fully submerge the turkey carcass, add it to the pot along with the Chain Reaction® and peppercorns, bring the pot back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for at least five (5) hours or up to 3 hours before you plan to serve the gumbo. Taste the stock about 4 hours before you plan to serve the gumbo and adjust seasonings as needed adding more garlic, Chain Reaction®, or peppercorns as needed.
Three hours before you plan to serve the gumbo, turn off the heat and let the stock cool for an hour. Once the stock has cooled, strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, remove the solids and bones and discard. Add the stock back to the stockpot.
After you've turned off the heat for the stock to cool, start the roux. Turn your vent fan on because this will produce a little smoke. In a thick bottomed pan that will accommodate both this roux as well as the chopped vegetables for the gumbo, add the fat and start heating over medium heat. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing constantly, until all the flour is incorporated and forms a smooth paste. Stir constantly while cooking and reduce heat as necessary to prevent scorching. As the flour cooks in the fat, it will go from white to blonde to light brown and eventually to a dark brown that resembles milk chocolate. When the mixture gets to the milk chocolate color, turn the heat off, but continue to stir to prevent scorching while the bottom of the pan cools.
After the roux has cooled a bit and while still stirring, add the garlic and let it sauté in the roux for 1 minute, then add the chopped vegetables for the gumbo and the cooked okra to the pot and stir to coat them evenly with the garlic/roux mixture. Cover the pot and let the heat from the roux lightly sauté the vegetables while you work on the stock and meat.
Add the sausage and turkey to the stockpot of turkey stock and bring to a boil. Add the roux and vegetables gradually, stirring well to mix them in. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Fifteen (15) minutes before you serve the gumbo add the shrimp and parsley to the pot and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve gumbo ladled over hot white rice in large shallow bowls, with hot sauce at the table for guests to use to their liking.