Leftover turkey can be used for pot pies, casseroles, pho or fried rice, but John Besh’s favorite way to eat it is — no surprise — gumbo.
The Louisiana chef, who recently published “Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes” (Andrews McMeel, $25), says he makes this particular version just about every year.
Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3 quarts chicken stock
Meat picked from leftover roast turkey, plus the turkey carcass
2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 lb. okra, sliced
Salt and pepper
6 cups cooked white rice
2 green onions, chopped
Make a roux by heating the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium and continue whisking until the roux turns a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium low and continue stirring until the roux turns a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the celery, bell pepper, garlic and bay leaves and stir for 3 minutes, then add the stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the turkey carcass, sausage and okra. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo (moving the pot half off the burner helps collect the impurities). Remove the carcass from the pot.
Add the turkey meat and season well with Tabasco, salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with rice, scattered with the green onions. Serves 10
— From “Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes” by John Besh (Andrews McMeel, $25)