Gumbo – Variation on a Theme
When I saw this recipe on Three Many Cooks for Shrimp Gumbo the first thing I thought was hey, I have a pound of kielbasa in the freezer from the CSA. Then I thought about how my husband doesn’t really like shrimp much. But, isn’t gumbo sometimes made with other fish? I did a little googling and found almost as many different recipes are there are fish in the sea. So, I decided to just see what looked good in the seafood department and came home with some halibut.
Next I considered the chicken. I had leftover turkey meat & bones in the freezer from Thanksgiving, couldn’t I use that instead? A little more googling and sure, why not? I found lots of gumbo recipes made with turkey instead of chicken. Turkey it is!
I simmered the leftover bones while I worked on the roux. I’ve only ever made simple, quick roux with butter and flour for gravy and thickening sauces – never a deeply colored roux like this that is all about adding flavor. It wasn’t that hard though – it just takes a little patience.
This is not dark enough.
This is getting there. Kinda looks like peanut butter!
And this is just a little bit darker and the last picture I took before I pulled it off the heat. While the roux was roux-ing, I also had my veggies sauteeing and at some point I lost my head and dumped in my turkey broth before I added the roux. I do not recommend this reversal of steps because as it turns out, roux bubbles and pops when poured into hot liquid like fresh newt added to a witch’s cauldron, or at least as I would imagine it might. Once everything settled down, I added the kielbasa, tomatoes and turkey meat and just had to taste it before I let it simmer and it was already rich and delicious.
The fish went in near the end of the cooking time, cut into small cubes and cooked through right in the broth.
I made some rice with some leftover broth and served the gumbo over it the first time around and it was good. But what was even better was the leftovers! I mixed the leftover rice into the pot of gumbo and stored it in the fridge, and the next day served as a soup it was amazing. It’s the rich broth with the roux that really makes this dish. A bowl or cup is the correct vessel – not a plate. And a little skillet cornbread on the side doesn’t hurt either.