Turkey and Oyster Filé Gumbo: It’s All in the Roux

This is a delicious way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

3    C chopped turkey
1 ½ Quarts of water
1 ½ C roux
½    C heated catsup
Salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce to taste
1 Pint small oysters
1 ½ tsp filé  to thicken (Ground sassafras that’s available in the stores or online.)
Hot cooked rice

The roux is the basis for many Creole dishes, especially the gumbos. It’s best made in an iron skillet or pot with a wooden spoon. Brown 1 ½ C of flour in 2/3 C of bacon grease stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  It has to be dark brown but if it’s burned or scorched, toss it out and start over. Add a clove of garlic, a stalk of celery, and an onion, finely minced. Let simmer 30 minutes. (This can be made ahead in quantity and stored in the refrigerator.)

Start with 1 ½ C hot roux. Warm turkey in the water until hot. Slowly add to heated roux stirring constantly. Add heated catsup. Add salt, Worcesteshire sauce, and hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour or so. Add oysters and continue simmering for 15 minutes. REMOVE FROM HEAT. Add file and serve over rice.

NOTE: NEVER add filé while the gumbo is cooking or it will become a stringy mess that has to be tossed.


Filed under Thanksgiving

2 responses to “Turkey and Oyster Filé Gumbo: It’s All in the Roux

  1. Carol

    I thought gumbo always had okra in it? I used to make a big pot on Christmas eve when everyone came over to our house in Smyrna. Our priest who lived in S. LA for awhile always had a bowl of left overs as he prepared for midnight mass. Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!! I mean’t to call you.

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