Leftover turkey casseroles can be such a drag. Why not take that dark meat that you know you don’t really want to eat– and spice it up with a little help from your neighbors to the east?
That’s right. Leftover turkey makes a fantastic base for good ol’ southern jambalaya. It disguises that old-turkey taste and makes a nice change from the same old recipes you pull out every year. Better still, it tastes wonderful! In fact, I’ve been known to buy turkeys off-season partly so I’d have leftovers to use in jambalaya. (Total truth.)
Here’s a version which is much healthier than the “authentic” thing (yeah, I know it’s supposed to clog your arteries, but I’m too much of a health nut to go completely traditional), but tastes just as good. I can’t promise your mouth won’t be on fire, but I can promise you one thing: you’ll love it.
Step 1: Make the Cajun spice mix. Mix spices together and set aside.
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. white pepper (trust me, it makes a difference)
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. sage
- 1/2 tsp. basil
Step 2: Cook the sausage and vegetables. Starting with the sausage, saute sausage and vegetables until vegetables tender.
- 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 c. diced andouille sausage (if you can’t find it locally, substitute another smoked sausage)
- 1 c. diced onion
- 1 c. diced green pepper
- 1 c. diced celery
Step 3: Add the tomatoes. Stir in, cooking for 2 minutes.
- 2 c. drained diced canned tomatoes
Step 4: Add the rice. Add and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- 1 c. raw (uncooked) rice
Step 5: Add the turkey and a bunch more ingredients. Stir in, and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 – 5 tsp. Cajun spice mix (see above). Start out small, adding more if you need it– it can get spicy pretty fast!
- 2 c. chopped cooked chicken or turkey
Step 6: Add the last few ingredients. Stir in and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until rice is tender. You may need to add more liquid if it starts getting dry.
- 2 c. small shrimp (raw or cooked, and you can leave them out if you hate seafood, but it’s much better with them in!)
- 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
Serve in bowls with fresh French bread and a green salad…and let the good times roll!