by Chef SusiQ

One of the best parts of the Thanksgiving meal is watching the transformation of the turkey. From the golden-skinned overstuffed masterpiece that launches the peak of the Thanksgiving food-fest, to cranberry-dressed sandwiches. Later making its appearances in weeknight casseroles, weekend brunch quiches, and anytime quesadilla snacks. Until finally, my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving: turkey gumbo. In fact, I’ve been known to skip the whole bird project altogether and just serve up the gumbo!

Gumbo is a Gulf Coast-Creole Soul Food dish with ancestral contributions from West African, Choctaw, and French cooking traditions.

The foundation of a good gumbo is the roux, which is traditionally white flour cooked in bacon fat. To boost the nutritional value, this recipe uses ghee and quinoa flour. Ghee is healing to the digestive system, and quinoa flour is gluten-free. So while the dish is a rich and satisfying holiday come- down, it’s also a welcome step toward relief for the digestive tract.

Save all your vegetable scraps including onion and garlic peels from your Thanksgiving preparations to make your broth.

Gumbo file, a sassafras powder, traditionally used by Choctaw and other native tribes of the Gulf Coast to thicken soups and stews, can be added just before serving.Louisiana Rose rice is available locally, and is the preferred bed for any authentic bowl of gumbo. My choice, though, is Volcano rice, a blend of heirloom rice varieties grown in volcanic soils by a farmer cooperative in Indonesia. It has a similar texture to Louisiana Rose rice, a pretty pink color, and high levels of minerals and antioxidants. Stir a cup of ribbon-cut steamed greens into the rice, for even greater nutritional boost, and something to do with your leftover greens.


Thanksgiving Turkey & Sausage Gumbo with Ghee (Gluten-Free)

For the Broth

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass or roast turkey breast, picked of meat (reserve for gumbo)

2 lemons Vegetable and herb scraps from making Thanksgiving dinner, or…

1 onion, quartered, with skin

2 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 bunch parsley stems

4 sprigs thyme

For the Gumbo (Serves 8)

1 lb Andouille sausage, finely diced (I recommend Market Hall’s chicken Andouille, Star Market, or The Local Butcher Shop)

2 cups of shredded roasted turkey, reserved from carcass

1 cup ghee

1 cup quinoa flour

2 cups onion, coarsely chopped

2 cups green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1.5 tsp garlic, minced 1.5 cups celery, coarsely chopped

1 bay leaf

6 cups home made turkey stock

Salt, Pepper, Cayenne pepper to taste

4 cups cooked Volcano rice (with greens if desired)

File and chopped scallions for garnish

Make the Broth Place turkey carcass in stock pot. Cover with water and add juice of 2 lemons. Allow to sit 30 minutes while acids pull minerals from the turkey bone. Skim surface of any “scum.”

Add vegetables to the pot, and bring to just below simmer. When you see the water churning just below the surface, move the pot slightly off-center of the burner, allowing for one side of the pot to be warmer, creating a convection effect.

Allow broth to cook for 2 hours up to 48 hours, continuing to skim impurities that rise to the surface.

Strain, reserving the broth, composting the vegetables and bones. Make the Gumbo

Brown the sausage in heavy-bottomed stock-pot or dutch oven. Remove sausage from pan, and pour off the fat, allowing a thin layer and any pan-bits to remain.

Add ghee to the pot over medium heat, scraping up any bits stuck on the pan bottom. Whisk in flour and continue whisking, until the mixture is dark brown and smells nutty. The darkness of the roux depends on the chefs preference. The color of a paper bag is the lightest, dark chocolate color would be a very dark roux. Go with your gut.

Lower heat and add onion, green bell pepper, celery stir and allow to soften slightly. Roux will “clump” around the vegetables a bit.

Slowly add broth while whisking. Add garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add a sprinkle of salt, and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage and chicken, and allow to simmer another 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add salt, pepper, cayenne to taste.

Serve gumbo over rice, stir in a sprinkle of gumbo file just before serving.


Soul Food: the Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, Adrian Miller, University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

A Short History of Gumbo, Southern Foodways Alliance website, Stanley Dry, gumbo/

Chef SusiQ encourages you to “Feed Your Highest Self,” with nutrient-dense, high- vibration meals from fresh, local ingredients prepared in your home. She offers in- home personal chef services for regular working folks, workshops, and community education programs to support wide access to whole food cooking strategies.

Just as food is an access to health in our personal lives, Susi believes that food, and the honoring of ancestral food traditions, is a pathway to healing broken cultural relationships. With a background in food justice and community gardening, Susi has a special interest in the story of food, from seed to table and through cultures and generations. She has a particular interest in the foodways of Southern Louisiana, where she was raised, and especially enjoys sharing nutrient-dense versions of her favorite Deep South comfort-food dishes.

You can find Chef SusiQ on the web at, and, Follow ChefSusiQ, #chefsusiq and #feedyourhighestself on Instagram for regular food porn postings.

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