Gumbo is the history of the Gulf South in a big pot. Okra, or as Africans called it gombo, can be used to thicken this big pot of history. You can also use filé to thicken, which is ground sassafras leaves, and was known as kombo to Choctaw Indians. Mix Choctaw Indian, with coastal West Africa, with France, with Britain, and with Spain, and you get all the flavors that come to define the many kinds of gumbo one can make and eat.
I happened to come across some free range, bone-in, turkey thighs and thought a gumbo would be a great way to utilize the meat. First though, you must have a roux to have a gumbo. Find my roux recipe here.. While you’re cooking the roux you can prepare the gumbo stock.
You will need about 4 hours to complete this dish. Vegetables can be prepared a day or two before, and so can the roux and stock. This will cut the cooking time down significantly. The kind of flavor you get from this dish takes time.
Gumbo Stock Ingredients:
- 2 bone-in turkey thighs (what I used for this recipe) or 1 bone-in turkey breast.
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- kosher salt
- whole black peppercorns
Gumbo Stock Directions:
- Place two bone-in turkey thighs or 1 breast in a large stock pot.
- Cover with water about 5˝ above the meat.
- Add yellow onion quartered.
- Add rough chopped carrot and celery
- Add about 3 tbs kosher salt
- Add about 2 tbs of whole black peppercorns
- Bring to a boil with high heat, then simmer with lid cracked for about 60-75 minutes until the turkey pulls apart easily with a fork.
- Set aside and let the stock cool. Remove turkey and place on a platter to cool.
- Strain liquid from chopped vegetables and peppercorns and pour back into stock pot.
- Pulled meat from 2 bone-in turkey thighs or 1 bone-in turkey breast
- Andouille. I used 2 turkey Andouille packages, Wellshire brand, 12 ounces each. You could also use pork or chicken Andouille.
- 1 large Vidalia onion
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 4-5 stalks of celery with leaves
- 1 bunch of green onions.
- 1 tablespoon of roasted garlic or raw chopped garlic. I use roasted garlic that you buy in a jar.
- a handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped.
- 1 lb of chopped okra, fresh or frozen.
- 1 tablespoon or so of cajun spice mix. I use Konriko brand Creole Spice. Tony Chachere is very popular. I lean toward a lower salt, cajun spice mix.
- 3-4 tbs of olive oil.
- 1.5 cup of white wine that is good enough for you to drink; preferably crisp and not sweet.
- 1 carton of chopped tomatoes. I use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes. They come in a carton 26.46 oz.
- Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce to taste. I use about 2-4 tbs
- Regular hot sauce to taste – Crystal, Louisiana Brand, or Tabasco. Same amount as Chipotle.
- Low salt Worcestershire sauce to taste. About 2-3 tbs
- 3-4 fresh bayleaves. These can be found with other fresh herbs in your local grocery.
- One carton of Kitchen Basics Turkey Stock.. in case you need to add more liquid.
- Chop celery, onion, bell pepper, green onion, and garlic (if not using jarred).
- Slice Andouille into 1/4 inch pieces.
- Place Andouille, chopped vegetable and okra in a large sauté pan with olive oil and cajun spice. Sauté until onions are translucent, 5-8 minutes, on med/high heat. If veggies start to stick add a splash of white wine.
- While veggies are sautéing, have your turkey stock heated to a low boil with bay leaves added.
- Add all sautéed ingredients to the stock. Add white wine. Add tomatoes. Bring to a rolling boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add roux and pulled turkey meat.
- Add chopped parsley.
- Bring back to boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add your hot sauces to taste.
- If you think your gumbo is too thick add Kitchen Basic turkey stock to your liking.
- Serve over rice or grits. A loaf of toasted french bread is typically served with gumbo.
Some folks add a glob of potato salad to their gumbo with a boiled egg instead of rice or grits. It’s all about how you like to eat it.
If you make this gumbo with left over turkey from a large gathering and had a whole bird, simply use the remainder of the meat, pulled from the bones, and use packaged turkey stock from Kitchen Basic or another brand. You could also make a bone broth from the turkey carcass.