Leftover Smoked Meat Gets New Life – In a Gumbo!

Leftover Smoked Meat Gets New Life – In a Gumbo!
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I am often asked, “What do you prefer to do with leftover smoked meat?”  I recently learned for a great idea for using the leftovers in a gumbo — a heavily seasoned soup or stew that combines several varieties of meat or seafood with a sauce or gravy.

Traditionally, gumbo features sausage and other meats like chicken, duck and pork. Generally it does not contain beef.  Some versions have seafood. Most use okra as a one of the ingredients because it also acts as a thickening agent.  Most all cooks agree the roux (flour + fat combination) is a basis for good gumbo.

I got the hankering for my recipe because I had sausage and left-over smoked chicken…but not all of the other more traditional ingredients.  So I improvised. And you can too!

Welcome to the Cookout! 

leftover smoked meat

Leftover Smoked Meat Gets New Life – In a Gumbo!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: pot

Serving Size: bowl

Calories per serving: ~

Fat per serving: ~


  • 2-3 cups, any leftover roasted and smoked meat (smoked chicken is best)
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed and minced
  • 1 cup okra chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 quarts hot water (or chicken stock)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or improvise with other spices
  • your favorite hot sauce
  • Filé powder (optional)
  • cooked rice (firm is better) warm


  1. Cook sausage in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until browned - remove from pot and set aside, reserving drippings.
  2. Add enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to measure 1/2 cup. Add flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 to 25 minutes, or until roux is chocolate colored. This step is critical - and can't be rushed.
  3. Stir in onion, bell pepper, okra and celery.
  4. Cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until tender.
  5. Gradually add 2 quarts hot water (or stock), and bring mixture to a boil; add chicken, garlic, and next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
  6. Add sausage to gumbo; cook 30 minutes. Stir in green onions; cook for 30 more minutes.
  7. Add chicken to gumbo, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  8. If you wish to make seafood gumbo, add peeled and cleaned shrimp, scallops, etc. near the final 5 minutes, and just before serving, to ensure it doesn't over cook.
  9. Remove gumbo from heat. Sprinkle with filé powder, if desired. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot sauce on the side.


Roux is a critical element of this dish - be sure to practice making it, as it's really the only part of the cooking that requires your focused attention.


One thought on “Leftover Smoked Meat Gets New Life – In a Gumbo!

  1. There is nothing like coming home after a day out to the smell of something cooking and knowing your dinner is almost ready.
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