Anatomy of a Classic

Day-After Gumbo

About 6 servings

Turn your Thursday bird into a Friday feast

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

If the day after Thanksgiving is your favorite food day of the year, then Justin Devillier, of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, is your kind of chef. “Although leftovers ‘as is’ are good, turning them into another celebratory meal keeps the holiday eat fest going at my house,” he says.

On Thanksgiving night, the chef covers the carved turkey carcass with water, and as the family party winds down, the roasted bones simmer away, forming a rich stock. The next morning, he adds aromatics and andouille, and stirs in a nice dark roux. “I like mine as dark as I can get it without burning it,” he says.

Once assembled, the gumbo cooks slowly, letting the sliced andouille contribute its spiciness to the thickening stock. “Serve it with rice or potato salad or my Thanksgiving favorite, a scoop of cornbread dressing,” Devillier says. “And don’t mind the bones. Just pick the meat off and eat around them.


  • Roux

    • 3 cups flour

    • 2 3/4 cups vegetable oil

  • Gumbo

    • The bones and scraps of one roasted (not fried) 12-14 lb. turkey. (You can quarter the carcass with kitchen scissors to better fit the pot.)

    • 2 large yellow onions, diced

    • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic

    • 4 lbs. andouille, cut into 1/4-inch "coins"

    • 1 bunch thyme

    • 1 sprig sage

    • 1/4 cup paprika

    • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper

    • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

    • 1/4 cup hot sauce (Devillier prefers Crystal)

    • Coarse salt and ground black pepper


  1. For the roux:

    Over moderate flame, heat the vegetable oil in a large enamel-coated cast-iron skillet. Add the flour slowly while whisking out any lumps. When all of the flour is incorporated, the mixture should have a viscosity slightly thinner than cake batter. Cook while whisking constantly to prevent any roux from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. As the roux gets close to finishing—in about 30 to 40 minutes—it will turn dark brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof container. Use in recipe, or cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use, bringing the roux back to room temperature. (Makes 5 cups)

  2. For the gumbo:

    The night before: Place the turkey in a five-gallon pot and add just enough water to cover. Over moderately high heat, bring the liquid to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for a few hours to make a stock. Cool and refrigerate.

  3. The next day: Remove turkey stock (with turkey bones) from refrigerator and let stand for one hour.

  4. Over moderate heat, bring back to boil, add the roux, and stir to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients, lower heat, and simmer the gumbo until thickened, about 2½ hours. Season with salt and pepper.

Meet The Chef: Justin Deviller

Recipe from chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana

Hometown: Dana Point, California
Current restaurant: La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
On the menu: Fried oysters with poached eggs and cornbread; crawfish pierogi with lemon brown butter and crème fraîche
Outside the kitchen: I geek out on guitars. One day I will get a late-fifties Les Paul Goldtop.