Turkey Oyster Gumbo

Turkey Oyster Gumbo in a bowl with rice

This Turkey Oyster Gumbo is so good, you’ll want to make it even if you don’t have leftover turkey. But if you are looking for something to do with that leftover turkey, don’t miss this opportunity.  Oysters just seem a natural partner for turkey, whether its in a holiday stuffing or this delicious gumbo.  Try this no-angst recipe from Sweet Daddy D and you’ll see why it has become a Louisiana post-Thanksgiving tradition.

Turkey Oyster Gumbo in a bowl with rice, spoon and potato salad
Sweet Daddy D's Turkey Oyster Gumbo
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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This is the perfect way to use your leftover holiday turkey. Oysters and turkey just seem to go together in a wonderful way. Try this and you'll see why it has become a post-Thanksgiving Louisiana tradition!
Servings Prep Time
15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
95 Minutes 254
Servings Prep Time
15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
95 Minutes 254
Turkey Oyster Gumbo in a bowl with rice, spoon and potato salad
Sweet Daddy D's Turkey Oyster Gumbo
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This is the perfect way to use your leftover holiday turkey. Oysters and turkey just seem to go together in a wonderful way. Try this and you'll see why it has become a post-Thanksgiving Louisiana tradition!
Servings Prep Time
15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
95 Minutes 254
Servings Prep Time
15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
95 Minutes 254
This is What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
This is What You Do
  1. Pull the turkey meat from the leftover turkey carcass, chop into bite size pieces or shred, sprinkle on some creole seasoning and set aside. Measure out the flour and vegetable oil. Mix the Herb and Spice Blend in a small bowl and set that aside. Chop the vegetables and set aside. Chop the garlic and set aside in a small bowl. Drain the oysters in a strainer set over a bowl, but do not rinse. Place this in the fridge until needed. Reserve whatever oyster liquid you have.
  2. Place the turkey stock in a stock pot and start heating it on low. Keep it covered and on low so it does not reduce.
  3. Place a large cast iron frying pan over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil to the frying pan. When the oil is shimmering whisk in the flour to make a medium roux.
  4. As soon as the roux is dark enough add the veggies about half or a third at a time and stir to completely mix the veggies with the roux.
  5. Continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently and scrapping the bits off the bottom, careful not to let it burn or scorch. This will take at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add in the garlic and green onions and continue to cook until aromatic, usually a couple of minutes.
  7. Mix in about half the spice mix and the 2 bay leaves; a mix well and cook for another five minutes.
  8. Turn up the heat on the stock pot and bring the turkey stock to a rolling boil.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, mix in the veggie/roux mix, one spoonful at a time, stirring each spoonful until everything is blended and mixed with the stock, making sure it returns to a rolling boil in between each spoonful. Continue this, one spoonful at a time until all the veggie/roux mix has been added to the stock.
  10. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat slightly to a heavy simmer and maintain for about 15 minutes, uncovered. Then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  11. After 30 minutes, uncover and add the turkey pieces a few at a time, stirring them into the stock in a similar fashion as you did the veggies, letting it come back to a rolling boil between each spoonful.
  12. Add a little more spice mix, stir well.
  13. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for about a 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Uncover and bring to a heavy boil. Add the oysters, by hand, a few at a time, stirring before adding more. When all the oysters have been added, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  15. Prior to serving, take a spoon and skim off the grease which has floated to the top. Give the gumbo a good stir then taste for seasoning-add a little more of the Herb and Spice Blend or some more salt and black pepper, if needed. If you want more oyster flavor, add some of the reserved oyster liquid. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice with some potato salad and crispy french bread.
Recipe Notes

If you have time, making your own turkey stock makes this gumbo really great. Check out my recipe for homemade stock here.   If you don't have time to make fresh turkey stock, this recipe is still great if you use commercial turkey stock or substitute chicken stock.

If you don't have left over turkey, use some turkey breasts and thighs (about a pound total).

Many commercial creole seasoning mixes and commercial stocks contain high levels of salt. Make sure to adjust your added salt according to the creole seasoning.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Turkey Oyster Gumbo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 431mg 18%
Potassium 345mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 6%
Iron 29%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Homemade Turkey Stock

Making turkey stock

The heart of many great dishes is a rich stock. This recipe makes about 8 cups of rich turkey stock which can be used in many ways, including soups, sauces and gumbos.

Making turkey stock
Sweet Daddy D's Homemade Turkey Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
The heart of many great dishes is a rich stock. This recipe makes about 8 cups of rich turkey stock which can be used in many ways, including soups, sauces and gumbos.
Servings Prep Time
8 Cups 30 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
4 hours 124
Servings Prep Time
8 Cups 30 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
4 hours 124
Making turkey stock
Sweet Daddy D's Homemade Turkey Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
The heart of many great dishes is a rich stock. This recipe makes about 8 cups of rich turkey stock which can be used in many ways, including soups, sauces and gumbos.
Servings Prep Time
8 Cups 30 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
4 hours 124
Servings Prep Time
8 Cups 30 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
4 hours 124
This is What You Need
Herb Bundle
This is What You Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray or a light coat of vegetable oil.
  2. Pull all the meat off the carcass from a leftover turkey. Reserve the meat to add to gumbo later. Break the bones into manageable pieces and place them along with the back, neck and giblets (if available) on the baking sheet. Roast in the 425 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. While the turkey bones are roasting, cut the onion and bell pepper in half and the celery and carrots into 1" to 2" pieces. Tie the fresh herbs together with butcher twine and place the black pepper corns in a garni bag or wrap in cheese cloth.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large stock put until shimmering. Add the vegetables, cut side down to the oil and saute until starting to brown. Add the ham hock, bay leaves and herb bundle-stir well so everything gets a hit of olive oil.
  5. Remove the turkey carcass from the oven and add the bones to the stockpot, making sure to add any juice and fond that had developed while roasting the bones. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  6. Throw in the black pepper corns and 24 cups of cold water into the stock pot and stir to make sure everything settles.
  7. Bring the stock pot to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes, then lower to a simmer.
  8. Continue to simmer for a total of three hours, covering the pot occasionally to control the evaporation.
  9. Skim off any scum that developed on top and discard.
  10. When finished, remove everything with a large slotted spoon and strain the stock through cheesecloth into a container.
Recipe Notes

This is  the perfect use for a leftover turkey carcass. Make sure to strip as much meat off as you can and use it in whatever the final dish is.

Most fresh or frozen turkeys come with the neck, heart, gizzards and liver-this is call the giblets. They will be in a bag stuffed into the cavity of the bird. Take those out and use them in the stock.

Roasting the bones is optional but enhances the flavor of depth which isn't there if you don't roast them.

Use whole black peppercorns. If you can get one of those little garni bags or use some cheese cloth to tie them together, you won't have to be concerned that someone will bite into a peppercorn.

This stock can be refrigerated for about four days and frozen for about six months. Same with the carcass. If you can't use it right away, a couple of days in the fridge, then freeze it for up to six month. few months.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Homemade Turkey Stock
Amount Per Serving
Calories 124 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 57mg 2%
Potassium 382mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 72%
Vitamin C 70%
Calcium 6%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cajun Dirty Rice

cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork

Dirty Rice is a traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, but it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.

cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
This is What You Need
This is What You Do
  1. Place chicken livers in water to simmer until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let them cool then give them a rough chop and set aside; reserve the cooking water.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt the bacon grease over medium high heat.
  3. Maintaining a medium high heat, brown the beef and pork in the bacon grease; when the redness is gone (about 5 minutes), add the chopped chicken livers and mix well; cook together for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the yellow onions, bell peppers and celery to the meats and saute until the onions are starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in about half the green onions and then the garlic and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic is aromatic.
  6. Add the creole seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce and mix well, continuing to sauté.
  7. Add the stock and a little of the reserved water from boiling the chicken livers; mix together well and bring to a high simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by a little more than half-about, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Mix in the cooked rice and blend well to incorporate all the ingredients. Taste and add kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley and remaining green onions and cook on low another few minutes uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Sprinkle some of the reserved green onions on top when served.
Recipe Notes

For this recipe I use a combination of ground chuck (80/20) and ground pork. If you prefer to use one or the other, that's fine.

The chicken livers are an essential part of Dirty Rice. Many recipes call for using the gizzards also, so that is certainly an option.  Don't go overboard on the livers because they can certainly take over the flavor profile.  They should be a subtle background flavor, like all the other ingredients.

Remember that most commercial creole seasonings and commercial stocks have high salt content, so make sure that you taste as you cook before you add any more salt.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 543mg 23%
Potassium 203mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 53%
Vitamin C 35%
Calcium 6%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.