This turkey gumbo with mashed potatoes is the perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. If you’re fresh out of Thanksgiving leftovers you can cook this gumbo using store bought rotisserie chicken.
My family moved from Germany to California when I was six years old. My mom’s extended family all lived in the Bay Area and after years of awaiting American Visas, we were able to join them in the land of opportunity.
As luck would have it, the Esmaili clan arrived in America on Thanksgiving day 1992. Having no familiarity with the American holiday, I assumed that our arrival was cause for this grand celebration. Aunts, Uncles, and cousins all gathered around a beautiful feast prepared by my aunt Karen. I had never seen a roast turkey, let alone stuffing and marshmallow-covered sweet potato casserole. The exciting new food was delicious and being surrounded by so much family was heart warming. Thanksgiving immediately became my favorite holiday.
Decades later, much has changed. Cousins have grown up, started their own families and moved away. My sweet grandmother has passed away and aunts and uncles have become grandparents themselves. One of the hardest things about adulthood is all the change that you endure, especially as it pertains to holiday traditions.
This year, Kenny and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in our home. It was intimate and lovely and included just my parents, siblings, and one dear aunt. Our gathering of eight was so different than the 30 person Thanksgivings of my childhood. Perhaps out of nostalgia or just the fact that, in my mind, Thanksgiving means feeding a small army, I cooked WAY too much everything. I mashed 10 pounds of potatoes, roasted a 15 pound turkey, and ended up with two refrigerators worth of leftovers.
After some delicious turkey sandwiches and several plates of stuffing topped with fried eggs, I still had a pound of turkey and an ungodly amount of mashed potatoes on hand. Tapping in to my love of creole food, I decided to repurpose the rest of the turkey into a yummy gumbo served over leftover potatoes.
The combination of turkey, chicken andouille sausage, and creole spices was so delicious that I look forward to cooking too much food next Thanksgiving as well! With a fantastic trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen, you can cook a dry roux in the oven instead of standing over a hot pot of oil and flour for an hour. You can also make this gumbo with store bought rotisserie chicken so you can enjoy it any time of year!
Pin this recipe to your Thanksgiving leftover or weeknight dinners board for easy access!Print