Kitchen Concoctions: A Cajun Christmas.... and Thanksgiving Too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Cajun Christmas.... and Thanksgiving Too!

So growing up with a “Cajun” family greatly influenced our ‘traditional American holidays’. By ‘traditional American holidays’ I mean not Mardi Gras, but Thanksgiving and Christmas. I loved these special and unique holiday traditions that none of my friends shared. Things like reading a Cajun Night Before Christmas (and a Texas Night Before Christmas, I mean after all we did live in Texas) on Christmas Eve and my Dad doing his best at his Cajun/Texan accent (he is from the North) and us kids laughing hysterically because it was so fake (wowzers that was a horrible run on sentence).

And then there was the food. For Thanksgiving we had my Grandmother’s Cornbread Dressing (which my Mom and I still make to this day), my Great-grandmother’s Glazed Carrots, Peach Pie Fruit Salad, my Mom’s Pecan Pie, and a Greenburg Smoked Turkey. Ever heard of them? Well these hickory roasted turkeys have been our family’s holiday staple for decades; way before someone (cough, cough) who’s name begins with O and ends with prah featured them as one of her favorite things back in December of ’08.

That smoked turkey is something that I look forward to every year! Another holiday tradition is having my Grandmother’s Seafood Gumbo or my Great-grandmother’s ‘Texas Hash’ (her own special ‘concoction’ of Frito Chili Pie and a Taco Salad) the day after Thanksgiving or for our annual Christmas party; which is another special family tradition that started way back with my Great-grandparents when my Mom was just a babe. You see we have a 23rd Tree (our version of a family Christmas party); which is held on December 23 and is full of awesome food, good company, and some sort of self-embarrassing family skit, game, or slide show!

So in honor of my family traditions, I made this gumbo back January after my Mom had ordered a Greenburg Smoked Turkey for our immediate family’s Christmas gathering because none of us could make it to the big Thanksgiving celebration in November. I used smoked turkey because we had tons of leftovers but chicken or traditional roasted turkey would work as well (or just double up on the sausage).

(Oh and I should also note that this is not a sponsored post, we are just uber big fans of Greenburg Smoked Turkeys, after all… it’s a fam-ily tradition!)

One Year Ago: Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
Two Years Ago: Boursin Cheese, Spinach and Pecan-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Smoked Turkey and Sausage Gumbo
Printable Version
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Serves: 8

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 pound sausage, sliced
3 cups chopped smoked turkey
1 bay leaf
5 cups turkey stock
½ tablespoon gumbo filé powder
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped green onion tops
2 cups hot cooked rice

Heat large non-stick pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage and cook for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to paper towels. Pour off fat from pot.

In same pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, to form a roux, and continue to stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until roux turns a deep, brown color, about 10-15 minutes.

Once roux has reached desired shade, stir in onions, bell pepper and celery and continue to stir about 1 – 2 minutes until the vegetables release their steam. Add salt, cayenne, sausage, turkey and continue to cook about 5 minutes.

Add bay leaf and stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.

Adjust seasonings and thin out with more stock if necessary. Just before serving, stir in filé powder..

To serve, place mound of rice in bottom of bowl, ladle gumbo over and top with chopped parsley and green onions.

Adapted from Greenburg Smoked Turkey


  1. I love hearing about family traditions, and I especially love seeing recipes with history behind them!

  2. This recipe is being linked up to Taste and Tell's Turkey link up party. Share your favorite turkey recipe and you are entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!

  3. I actually remembered this post when I clicked over to it! I'm loving the smoked turkey, and wish we were planning one for Thanksgiving this year. I guess it's not too late... :) Thanks so much for linking up to Taste and Tell Thursdays!


Related Posts with Thumbnails