Thursday, November 30, 2006

Turkey Gumbo

Weather getting cold? Fridge still full of Thanksgiving leftovers you're desperate to deal with? Sounds like turkey gumbo time. It's like making a gumbo... but with turkey. See? Okay well I'll explain.
  • On Thanksgiving day, don't throw that turkey carcass out in the dumpster where the rats will get it. Break that shit up, stuff it in ziploc bags, and freeze it... bones, meat, gristle and all. If you haven't done this, stop now go back to Thanksgiving day and get on that... otherwise you're pretty much fucked.

  • Today, knock off work early... or come by the house on your lunch break. If you are employed by an outfit that frowns upon such behavior, quit. If your life is in such a state that you can't afford to quit and are in fact trapped in a smothering, wholly unsatisfying spiral of servitude to uncaring masters, consider bringing a gun to work. But, if you can get home in the middle of the day, pull your turkey carcass out of the freezer, and set it to simmer in a large pot of water with some celery and an onion.

    Put a lid on it and get your ass back to work. I let mine go for about six hours today.. it's an inexact science. You'll know you've got a decent stock when the meat and cartiladge have cooked completely off the bone.

  • After work, clean the kitchen, feed the cat, watch the depressing news, get back in the kitchen, pop open a bottle of... something.. tonight it was Papio Cabernet (not so great.. tasted vaguely of bananas).. and start chopping vegetables. You'll want the usual suspects: onion, celery, bell pepper.. sneak in a little garlic. Put that aside.

  • Cast. Iron. Pot. Accept no substitutes. Chop up your andouille sausage, throw it in there and brown it.

  • Remove the sausage and put it aside. In the cast iron pot, go to work on your roux. I always use butter.. you can use vegetable oil if you want instead.. but you can't go wrong with butter and flour. I'm still testing the new electric stove, so I'm not sure what really constitutes low-medium heat.. but I played with the knob and stirred for about an hour and a half before I got something that looked decent.... like this.

  • When the roux is ready, turn the heat way way down low.. or even completely off.. and add your vegetables. The introduction of onion celery and bell pepper to a hot roux produces one of the greatest smells known to mankind. The roux will be hot enough to cook the vegetables completely with the burner turned off. Stir until they've softened up a bit.

  • Turn the heat back up. Add about a cupful of stock.. stir for a minute. Add the sausage.. stir for a minute. Okay now go get that big tupperware container full of turkey you've still got hanging around in the fridge. Yes.. you do.. go get it. Right, now get the other one too.

  • Add a little turkey... add a little stock. Keep stirring.

  • More turkey.. more stock.. you get the idea.

  • You'll want to start adding some seasoning here. The turkey, and the stock should be plenty salty to begin with so I wouldn't go too crazy there. Feel free to add as much black pepper as you see fit. I also throw in a fair amount of...

  • Thyme

    And cayenne pepper..about two caps full

  • Once this stuff starts to bubble a little it will be about time for you to add the okra. You chopped up some okra earlier, didn't you? Sure you did.. look it's right there in the sink.

  • Just about done now. Simmer just long enough for the slime from the okra to thicken the gumbo a bit, then you're ready to serve over rice... maybe with some french bread.. or a couple of those Thanksgiving dinner rolls you've still got in the back of the fridge.. yeah I know... just throw 'em in the microwave.. nobody cares.

And there it is. All that's left now is to clean the kitchen and post the photos to your stupid yellow blog. You didn't take pictures? Nah I don't blame you. You don't want to clean the kitchen either? Yeah.. neither do I.

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