November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Andouille Gumbo for #SundaySupper

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Andouille Gumbo for #SundaySupper

Turkey Gumbo: What Thanksgiving Is All About… Sort of 😉

A few years ago I came across a recipe by Emeril Lagasse for a turkey-bone gumbo. You can find it in Louisiana Real and Rustic, a cookbook he co-authored with my friend Marcelle Bienvenu.

The first time I made it, I knew I had found a winner. I also knew that my concept of Thanksgiving dinner had radically changed.

Not the concept of Thanksgiving, mind you. But the what’s-for-dinner aspect of Thanksgiving.

I probably don’t have to point this out, but I’m going to anyway: turkey is not just for Thanksgiving. There have been many times over the years when we bake a turkey just to do it. It’s economical, and you can do so many things with it: sandwiches, soups, casseroles, and gumbo, of course.

And, believe it or not, there have been Thanksgivings when we did not bake a turkey at all. I’m thinking about one Thanksgiving a few years ago when we had lobster. Now, that was delicious!

But ever since the first time I made Emeril’s Turkey Bone Gumbo, I can honestly say that the only reason we do turkey on Thanksgiving is to get the carcass for a turkey stock, and to get the turkey meat for this gumbo.

This is good eats, y’all!


  • 1 cup butter (or reduced chicken or goose fat, or some other type of oil with a high smoke point, like coconut oil)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 to 14 cups turkey stock
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 lbs andouille sausage, de-greased is skillet or in oven, then cut links length-wise and slice (like half-moons)
  • Leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat, deboned (You should have used the bones for the turkey stock!)
  • Reserved onions and celery from the stock (if possible)
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped (will need extra for individual bowls)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped (will need extra for individual bowls)
  • Your favorite hot sauce (Louisiana, Crystal, Tabasco), to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups of long-grain white rice, prepared according to package directions


  1. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add butter (or other oil) and heat until it begins to sizzle.
  3. Add flour and whisk to incorporate. Continue whisking until the roux reaches the color of dark chocolate. Be careful not to burn the roux.


Alternatively, you can make a dry roux in the oven.

  1. Once the roux has reached the desired color, add the onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Stir well, and allow to cook down for about five minutes or so. You want the veggies to soften and become translucent.
  2. Add the stock, bay leaves, the andouille, salt, and cayenne. Depending on the volume of your veggies, you may need to add a little more stock.
  3. Stir well, and bring to a simmer. Allow the gumbo to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the turkey and the reserved onions and celery from the stock.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low, continuing to allow the gumbo to simmer for about 40 minutes.
  5. Taste for seasoning and thickness. Make adjustments as necessary.
  6. Serve gumbo over rice in an bowl. Keep Tabasco or Crystal or Louisiana Hot Sauce on hand in case anyone wants to add it to their bowl. Also have chopped parsley and chopped green onions available to add to individual bowls.

This recipe yields a LARGE pot of gumbo. Our family of 5 can eat on this for a few days.

Ça c’est bon!

Want More Creatively Delicious Ideas For What To Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers?

I have lots of friends who just love to cook for #SundaySupper, and I want to introduce you to them.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with #SundaySupper, let me explain. #SundaySupper was started by my friend Isabel of to help bring families together Around the Family Table. It’s a wonderful mission, and it’s something I feel very passionate about. This is a great group of folks, and I am proud to be among them.

Here’s what these talented foodies plan to cook up with their Thanksgiving Leftovers:

Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on November 18.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.

Bon appetit!

And Happy Thanksgiving!