This Thanksgiving holiday make Leftover Turkey Gumbo Instant Pot.
Repurpose leftover turkey after the holidays into a succulent Louisiana creole gumbo with vegetables, bacon, andouille sausage in a flavorsome roux seasoned with herbs and spices.
The combination of onion, green bell peppers and celery in Cajun or Creole cuisine is known as holy trinity which you can compare to a mirepoix. Equal parts of these vegetables are added to the dish.
To me Gumbo is a stew while to others it is a soup which is made in any combination of meat or seafood. If you don’t like turkey, use chicken. You can use raw meat instead of leftovers.
Thanksgiving this year will be different for most household. To be safe, many of us will be celebrating the holidays only with people within our household.
A small whole turkey is more than enough with some leftovers for a family of four. This holiday season, many grocers are selling smaller turkeys and more turkey parts like breast and legs. For two people, this is great especially if you don’t care for leftovers.
Tip: Before putting away your leftover turkey, remove turkey meat and throw all the turkey carcass into a pot and make turkey broth. Use meat and broth to make other dishes.
When I make gumbo, I usually use my dutch oven but I was wondering how easy it would be using my instant pot. I was wary if roux will burn easily since I can’t really control the temperature.
If I don’t try, how would I know. Traditional gumbo takes hours to cook to meld the flavors. Most of us don’t have that time to devote cooking this delicious dish.
After trying, it was quick and easy and best of all my turkey gumbo was bursting in flavor.
I am anticipating someone might comment that gumbo is cooked for hours. Try it, you might enjoy it like I did. It doesn’t hurt to try.
What Thickeners are Used in Gumbo?
(1) Roux is commonly used in many French cooking. It is used as thickener for soup, stew, sauce or gravy. Roux is also the base for both Cajun and Creole gumbo.
To make roux, fat and flour are whisk together until deep brown in color. A darker roux adds more flavor than a lighter roux. Fat used are butter, lard or vegetable oil.
(2) Okra is a slimy vegetable when cooked can be used as a thickening agent. You can make gumbo without adding okra but in the Southern United States, it is still common to use okra.
(3) File Powder is another thickener used in gumbo. File powder is ground dried sassafras leaf that is added after cooking the dish. It can make the gravy too thick if added while cooking. You can serve this on the side and added before eating.
Note: Roux is good enough to use as thickener even without adding file powder or okra.
Tips Making Leftover Turkey Gumbo Instant Pot
Note: I am using an Instant Pot DUO60.
If you prefer the traditional way of cooking gumbo low and slow for a long time, then do it on stove top. Use a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. You can try my Seafood Gumbo recipe and substitute seafood with meat.
(1) When making roux, make sure your instant pot is clear of brown bits after frying bacon and andouille sausage. Roux can burn easily so you need to constantly stir until it turns brown.
(2) If using turkey breast, I don’t use the PRESSURE COOK function. Turkey breast is tender and I find it quicker to use SAUTE to cook the dish. It will take the same time if I use PRESSURE COOK and wait for natural pressure release.
(3) If using turkey legs, use the PRESSURE COOK program. Legs are tougher and using the pressure cooker can get it tender quicker.
(4) For a more flavorful gumbo stew, use chicken or turkey broth instead of water.
(5) When adding broth or water in instant pot, pay attention to the inner pot’s maximum level. Don’t go over this level, it is not safe and you will have liquid spewing everywhere. Some food will expand and you have to consider that.
My food level is usually 2 inches lower the maximum level.
What Should I do to Avoid Getting the Burn Message in Instant Pot?
Before using the PRESSURE COOK program, make sure that no brown bits of food are stuck to the bottom of inner pot after using the SAUTE program.
Deglazing the inner pot with water or broth will ensure you have a clean bottom. Scrape and remove any burnt food from the inner pot before using the PRESSURE COOK program.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Gumbo Instant Pot
- 1 ½ pounds turkey legs cubed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups andouille sausage sliced into rounds
- 6 strips bacon slice into thin strips
- 1 medium onion diced
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 large green bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 can 14.5 oz Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon New Orleans Cajun
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
- ½ cup poblano peppers diced – optional
- 3 cups okra optional - cut 1 ½ inches thick
- file powder optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Press SAUTE program on instant pot, set to normal heat, add ½ of vegetable oil and saute bacon until cooked then move to one side of inner pot. Add andouille sausage and cook for 2 minutes then push to the side.
- Stir-in onion and cook for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- If using raw turkey legs, add and cook until pale. Note: Leftover cooked turkey will be added later.
- Toss-in celery, green peppers and poblano peppers. Remove mixture from instant pot and set aside.
- Continue with SAUTE program and make turkey gumbo roux, melt butter and add remaining vegetable oil. While butter is melting, scrape brown bits sticking to pot.
- Stir-in flour, whisk continously until roux turns brown about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze inner pot with 1 cup broth. Scrape any brown bits sticking to bottom of pot. Cancel Saute program.
- Add cooked or leftover turkey, bacon, andouille sausage, cooked vegetables, scallions, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, fire roasted tomatoes, New Orleans cajun, cayenne pepper and broth.
- Cover instant pot with lid, turn knob to SEALING, press PRESSURE COOK, HIGH PRESSURE and set time to 20 minutes.
- Once program ends and display shows L000, L001 etc., press CANCEL to turn off PRESSURE COOK program.
- Wait for Natural Pressure Release (NPR) then turn knob to VENTING and open lid.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Note: Continue cooking if adding okra. Press SAUTE program and bring to a simmer. Add okra and cook until soft. CANCEL program.
- Serve hot with file powder on the side.
- Make sure to deglaze pot and scrape brown bits before PRESSURE COOK to prevent burn message.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
- This turkey gumbo dish is more flavorful a day old.
- Okra and file powder are optional.
- If adding shrimp, add at the same time as okra.