Holiday Recipe Exchange: Turkey Gumbo.

 Image scanned from The Comfort Table:  Recipes for Everyday Occasions, by Katie Lee

When Michelle, @ Pretty Mommy suggested a new recipe exchange, a Holiday Exchange (still time to join!), I immediately signed up for today, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, because I need to share this tried & true Thanksgiving leftover recipe - courtesy of Katie Lee (Many know her as former wife to Billy Joel, or the gal with the amazing Nate-Burkus-designed-home, but I'm a fan of her cookbooks, and here's why).  I saw her prepare it a couple of years ago, on the Early Show, and have made it several times since... It's that good.

You'll notice that there is no recipe picture included (just a lovely, simple table setting from her recent cookbook), and that's because I'm not making it until after Thanksgiving!  But I wanted to share it with you in advance, because in order to make it, you must save your turkey carcass.  Yep.  It's a waste not want not recipe, and allows you to take FULL advantage of that delicious turkey that you're about to indulge in.  So, this year, instead of tossing the carcass in the garbage, toss it into a bag and into your fridge (or freezer); you'll be amazed at how much meat and flavor is left to savor.

*I'm purposely not formatting the recipe in a fancy printable format, because I want to tell you about this fantastic 'print-friendly' feature (it's the little things)!  I showed you how to include a button under each of your blog posts, but since most people do not yet have this, here's how you can make any post printable (and format it to your liking!) in a flash.  When you want to print this recipe, press HERE.  Drag the "Print Friendly" button to your browser (or just enter the url).  It will automatically transform any post into a printable format, and allow you to delete images or sections that you don't wish to print (i.e. to delete this paragraph, just press on it and poof- gone).
Max's Turkey Gumbo

1 turkey carcass
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 yellow onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
10 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 pound smoked sausage (such as Andouille or Kielbasa), sliced ¼ inch thick
1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steamed rice, for serving

Remove turkey meat from carcass and dice. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is chocolate brown, about 15 minutes. Do not let burn. Stir in onions, celery, and green pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in 10 cups water and bouillon cubes. Place turkey carcass in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to simmer for 4 hours. Remove carcass. Add reserved turkey meat and sausage. Stir in Creole seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Simmer one hour. Serve with steamed rice.

8 Servings 
*Cook's Notes
  • We remove the meat from the carcass on Thanksgiving and immediately place it in a bag and into the freezer.  When we make the soup, we use shredded turkey (leftover from Thanksgiving), and simply toss the carcass in (any remaining bits of meat will come off into the soup).
  • Before I melt the butter, and make the roux, I gently sear the slices sausages, then pull them out and reserve them for later.  I use a tad of red or white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan before melting the butter.  I like the richness that this adds to the soup, as well as the texture that it gives to the sausage.
  • If you prefer, feel free to use chicken or turkey stock in place of the bouillon cubes.
  • This recipe makes A LOT of gumbo.  Use a big pot and be prepared to break the carcass in 1/2 if you cooked a large turkey!  We always end up freezing the leftovers; it reheats very well, meat and all.
  • Garnish with whatever you'd top off a bowl of gumbo... green onions, a dash of Tobasco, additional Creole seasoning- and a nice crusty loaf of warmed French bread never hurts.
ENJOY! And make sure to head over to Michelle's, @ Pretty Mommy tomorrow to see what she's got cookin'!


  1. Now I just need to finagle a turkey carcass since I'm not in charge of it this year - YUM!!!

  2. I actually like making leftover menus with thanksgiving dinner than the actual dinner. This recipe sounds awesome.

  3. This sounds absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see pictures! Hope you had a great weekend, Torrie.


  4. Sounds yummy! I'll be trying this for sure!
    (& thanks for the printing how to!!)

  5. Looking good, Torrie! Can't wait to give it a try!

  6. This makes me wish I had made the whole bird so I had the bones to make this! Saving this for next year for sure!!!!

  7. Gotta love a one pot meal! Our turkey is going to be 40 pounds, so I will have to try after thanksgiving with a SMALLER turkey :).

  8. Oh YUM!!!! I am definitely saving this!! I have so many recipes I need to try! I cannot wait!!

    ...and thank you so much for your sweet comment today! :) It made my day!!

  9. Danielle-

    Wow, a big turkey!! You can make it- if you broke it in 1/2 and used a big pot (I've done it)! :)

  10. Wow sounds great. You are so inspiring with all the great dishes you make-seriously! I am here visiting my mom and she is like " I want to write a book of recipes!" It's all about the food this week right? My aunt is visiting from London and I found out she and my mom are baking a homemade apple pie-I am definitely getting in on that tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Torrie!

  11. Oh well done Torrie. I'll be linking over tomorrow!!

  12. Torrie, I'm only making a turkey breast (just us two) but this makes me want to get a full-size bird! Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. i can't believe how delicious this sounds!!!

  14. This is such a great idea! My mom always makes turkey noodle soup...but I think gumbo sounds like a great idea! I'm bookmarking this for next year! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Cheap property in Turkey


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