Growing up our family tried not to waste any food. Money was always tight and we always had lots of mouths to feed.  We always had multiple friends spending the night with us and hanging at our house. Our friends loved to come to our house for many reasons, but mostly for Moms and Dads cooking.  After Thanksgiving and Christmas Mom would always boil the turkey carcass down and make a stock.  She usually would make a soup or stew.  Our Dad would make gumbo.  This is his recipe for Turkey Carcass Gumbo.  I made this for Andy last night and he loved it. 

Turkey Carcass Gumbo


1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups onions, chopped 

1 cup celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons Slap ya Mama, Cajun seasoning  

1 pound andouille sausage, chopped

2 quarts Turkey Broth (Recipe follows)

2 bay leaves

Reserved turkey meat from broth

2 ½ cups frozen okra (optional)

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped

Steamed white rice


Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron pot.

Cook the mixture over medium heat.  Stir roux constantly with a wooden spoon for about 25 minutes. The roux needs to resemble the color of chocolate.  

Season the onions, garlic and celery with the Cajun seasoning.

Add the vegetables to the roux and cook for 5 -7 minutes.

 Add the sausage and cook, for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the strained turkey broth and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.Add the reserved turkey meat and okra and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions.

Serve gumbo over a bed of rice with plenty of French bread for sopping. 

Turkey Broth



1 turkey carcass

3 ribs celery, cut in half 

2 large onions, quartered

4 quarts water

 Salt to taste  

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 bouillon cubes

5 bay leaves

Turkey Broth

Put the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Add the celery, onions, water, salt, peppercorns, bouillon cubes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Skim any foam that forms on the surface. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain and set aside any meat that has come off the bone and pick meat that remains on the bone. Skim fat.