Turkey and Oyster Gumbo

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.


Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Prep Time: 1½ hours

The Cajuns of South Louisiana often included andouille and oysters in a holiday gumbo. Normally a sack of Gulf oysters would be purchased the day before the celebration. Half would be opened for the gumbo, and the other half would be eaten immediately with a dash of hot sauce. Serve this gumbo for the holidays, and you will be duplicating an age-old bayou tradition. You can make this gumbo with fresh chicken too, but it is a particularly delicious way to use up turkey left over from holiday meals.

½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup flour
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1½ quarts chicken stock
8 ounces andouille, sliced
2-3 pounds leftover turkey pieces
1 cup sliced, blanched okra
2 dozen fresh shucked oysters, drained
½ cup sliced green onions
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
½ cup chopped parsley

In a 2-gallon stockpot or cast-iron pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, whisk in flour and continue whisking until a light brown roux is achieved. Do not scorch. Should black specks appear, discard the roux and begin again.

Add onions and garlic, and cook for 1 minute, until wilted. Stir in celery, bell peppers and green onions. Cook 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add half the chicken stock, and stir until roux is dissolved. Add remaining chicken stock, and stir again. Add andouille and turkey pieces, and stir until the mixture is quite thick. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add the okra and stir with heat on low. Wait 30 seconds, and stir in the parsley. Add oysters, and stir in. Simmer until edges of oysters begin to curl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with parsley for presentation. 

Serves 6-8.

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