There are some traditions that cannot be broken no matter how busy you get. The post-Thanksgiving turkey gumbo is one of those traditions. Even when I don’t host Thanksgiving I go out and buy a turkey for the sole purpose of gumbo after the Big Day.
I love gumbo. No, really. I REALLY love gumbo. I would eat it even if it were 90 degrees outside. In fact, sometimes we have to turn the air conditioner down to enjoy our gumbo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s the price we’re willing to pay for some hot, thick gumbo goodness.
There are a few things you should know about my gumbo. There is no okra in my gumbo. NO OKRA. I mean it. If you want to put okra in it, go ahead. Just don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. Also, there is no filé in my gumbo. Filé is the ground leaves of the Sassafras Tree and is used to thicken gumbo. My gumbo gets its thickness from the roux so there’s no need for okra or filé.
Much like the caramelized onions from the French Onion Soup I made last week, roux is a labor of love that requires constant stirring. A lot of stirring. I might need rotator cuff surgery soon. Did I mention there’s stirring? Don’t be afraid. You will be rewarded with a lovely dark roux that is the basis of flavor and color in this delicious gumbo.
That’s not the best picture in the world but I think you get the idea. The roux should get to be the color of dark chocolate or at least milk chocolate. Just when you think it’s dark enough, brown it a little more. But be careful. There’s a fine line between just right and oops, I burned it. Give it a shot. What else are you going to do with that turkey carcass?