Thanksgiving Gumbo: Before and After

Turkeys are relieved I'm cooking chicken & sausage gumbo.

Turkeys are relieved I’m cooking chicken & sausage gumbo.

I’m cooking chicken and sausage gumbo for Thanksgiving and feeling a little guilty because I’m not cooking turkey. If I were roasting a turkey, I’d cross my fingers and hope for leftovers. I’ve got two recipes for Turkey Gumbo – both from friends who are good cooks — that I’d like to try. If you’re interested, just chop some extra vegetables or make plenty of gravy, and you’re set to cook these after Thanksgiving recipes.

Marion Ginn, who lives down the street, always makes three quarts of brown giblet gravy for Thanksgiving. The next day she reheats the leftover gravy and adds: 1 can Rotel tomatoes (liquefied in the blender), 2 bay leaves, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 bag frozen sliced okra. She simmers that for about 1-2 hours. Then she adds cut-up leftover turkey, white and dark meats, 1 tablespoon file, and Tony’s Cajun seasoning, if needed, and simmers for ten minutes or until hot through and through. Voila! Her Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo is ready to serve over rice.  She pointed out the recipe to me when I bought Recipes and Remembrances Cookbook from the Santa Rosa Women’s Club and said it’s really good.

Jeany Pitre, the principal at two different schools where I taught, saves the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. Here’s her Turkey Gumbo recipe from the Blessings Cookbook published by Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler, Texas.

This recipe from a Louisiana cook has gotta be great!

This recipe from a Louisiana cook has gotta be great!

I don’t know Lucy Buffett (Jimmy’s sister) personally but I’ve eaten at LuLu’s, her restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She includes her Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo recipe and an interesting story of its origin in her Crazy Sista’ Cookbook. The recipe’s too complicated to post here, but the cookbook is available on the Amazon. It includes great recipes and plenty of stories.

By the way, Lucy Buffett’s Oyster Dressing recipe represents Alabama in this year’s New York Times Thanksgiving article listing recipes representing all fifty states. Reading the article reassures me that gumbo is a legitimate Thanksgiving regional dish, especially if that’s what you always ate as a kid during the holidays. I enjoyed reading the recipes from all the states I’ve lived in, and am really tempted to make some Harvey Sweet Potatoes from Kansas. And those Turkey Tamales from Texas are very tempting.

Happy cooking!



About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
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