Cooking Louisiana - Turkey & Oyster Gumbo

Turkey and Oyster Gumbo, an old Traditional Cajun favorite during the holidays.

Turkey and Oyster Gumbo is popular at this time of year because oysters are readily available and turkey carcasses just happen to be handy too.

1 turkey carcass and any left over meat from a baked turkey.
1 qt. fresh shucked oysters
1/2 cup roux
4 med. onions chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1 cup green onion tops chopped
1/2 cup parsley chopped
1 tsp. gumbo filé
2 pinches ground thyme
Louisiana Hot Sauce
7 to 8 quarts of water
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cooked Rice

Take the carcass and remove as much meat as you can cutting large pieces into bite sized pieces. Putting the meat back in the fridge.
Break the carcass up some, put in a stock pot, cover with water and boil about an hour. This is your turkey stock.
Remove carcass to let cool picking any meat left on it. Throw the carcass away. Strain the stock to get any meat that's in it. Keep the stock.

While the carcass is boiling make a dark roux in a 12 quart pot. Add the onions and sauté about 15 minutes then add celery and bell pepper and sauté another 20 - 30 minutes.

Add  6 cups of the turkey stock and 6 cups of plain water and bring to a boil.
I'm cutting the stock because it can be very strong and may overpower the taste of the oysters. Add turkey meat and remaining seasonings (except parsley and filé) and bring back to a boil. Add oysters and 1 cup oyster liquid and boil for 15 minutes. Taste and see if you want to add more water or more turkey stock. If it tastes good like it is add equal parts of each until the gumbo is the thickness you're looking for if it's not already there. 

Add parsley and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the fire off, add filé and stir. Taste again to see if any additional seasonings are needed.

Serve in a bowl over a little cooked rice.

Serving:  In South Louisiana, gumbo is traditionally served with French bread and potato salad. This big pot of gumbo will feed at least 12 or more people.

Read more on Gumbo here...

Hint: You can make the turkey stock and freeze it along with the meat for making that gumbo later.

 

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