Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turkey and Buffalo Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo. Is there anything more satisfying? Well, yes. There are lots of things, even other foods, but there is something about gumbo that makes me smile.

There are so many different kinds of gumbo and ingredients you can use. Chicken and sausage gumbo is one of my favorites, and it's the same recipe I use for this one. You've got seafood gumbo, you can make vegetable gumbo. My dad loves to make turkey bone gumbo. The list is nearly endless.

I like to use andouille sausage in my gumbo, but a lot of the sausage has pork in it and I'm not able to eat pork anymore. I don't know why, but it makes me sick every time I eat it. A lot of sausage also has gluten in it. I don't live in Louisiana anymore and it's a little harder to find andouille -- especially an andouille that meets all my needs -- where I live. I was overjoyed when I found gluten-free buffalo andouille in our health food store. And it's not too bad, either.

As anyone who has cooked gumbo knows, first you make a roux. You can find my gluten-free roux recipe here.

And that's where this recipe begins.

Projected prep time: Varies, won't even put one on here; Projected cook time: 2-3 hours (after making roux)
(Printable Recipe)

2 medium white onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
(*Obviously leave out the next two items and add desired vegetables if you're making this vegetarian)
1 lb. smoked gluten-free sausage, chopped (I prefer andouille as noted above)
2 or 3 lbs., or a little more, cooked turkey (or chicken) This was a turkey breast we froze after cooking this huge turkey. Note you can add the poultry raw and cook for a couple of hours and then remove and cut or shred into smaller pieces, but it may be tougher meat that way.
4 quarts water
1 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt, then more to taste if necessary
1/4 tsp. black pepper, then more to taste, up to 1/2 tsp.
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, then more to taste (my husband and our youngest are really sensitive to "spicy" so I usually start with a small amount of cayenne pepper, then I douse my own bowl with it)
Dash of Tony Chachere's, to taste
Sometimes I add a little chopped parsley while it's cooking
Gumbo file, if desired, to sprinkle in individual bowls
Cooked rice, white or brown is fine. Brown is healthier, white is more traditional.
*As I note above, you can use lots of different ingredients in a gumbo. I like green bell pepper in mine, some like red. Many people put celery (this is part of the traditional "trinity" of onions, bell pepper and celery) and okra in their gumbo, but I don't care for celery in my gumbo, though I'll certainly eat it, and okra in any form makes me gag.

You can make your gumbo in a big cast iron Dutch oven or a large stock pot. If you are making your roux in the Dutch oven, you'll continue to add all the ingredients for your gumbo in the same pot. If you make your roux in a separate skillet, you'll want to have your water boiling in the stock pot before you add the roux and other ingredients to it. If you are adding it to the same pot you've been cooking your roux in, you'll want to have a kettle of water boiling to add to the roux. If you add water that's not hot to the roux, you will probably cause the roux to separate.

I'm taking you now back to the roux being ready for gumbo. You've already taken it off the heat and it's to the point where you need to quickly stop it from cooking. Add of the chopped onions and vigorously stir. Add a little more, not all, of the onions, and bell pepper. Add a little bit of your hot water, a little at a time, stirring vigorously. The roux will seize like chocolate does when you are melting it and it touches liquid, but it's okay.

The roux will seize, as explained above. It's okay.  It will also lighten in color as you add ingredients to it, as this has done. This gluten-free roux isn't as brown as I'd like it, as explained in the post with roux recipe, but it gets the job done!
Just keep stirring and adding water a little at a time until it's a consistency you can either add the rest of the liquid to if you are adding it all to the roux pot, or that you can add it to the rest of the water in the stock pot.

Some people like to cook all of their vegetables before adding to the gumbo. I prefer to add the rest of them raw. Not only is it one less step for me, I find it flavors the gumbo just fine to have it cook down in the liquid.

I took this photo right before I added the turkey.
Once all of the ingredients are added, boil for two or three hours. After it's been cooking for a couple of hours, check the flavors to make sure you don't need to season it more.

I think the camera was trying to focus on the steam!
Put a scoop of rice in your bowl ...

Add your gumbo, then sprinkle with file if you desire. I sometimes add it, sometimes don't. This photo doesn't have it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


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