Southern Comfort

My husband and I have always had an affinity for the South. Our life plans include ending up in the South someday. (We’re slowly getting there…) I mean, what’s not to love? Warmer weather, kind and friendly people, a slower pace, and the food…oh, the food!

In culinary school my most loved class was American Regional Cuisine. It was a mix of history, which explained regional food ( very interesting), and cooking. So fun and so very delicious. Like, amazingly so. Of course, a highlight was Southern cuisine: fried chicken, greens, peanut soup, peach pie, red velvet cake, etc., etc. This was before I knew of my gluten issue, and I ate to my heart’s content. (Thank you, Jesus.)

Southern food is comfort food, and because I do know now I have an issue with gluten, doesn’t mean I have lost my taste for comfort. Dietary restrictions should not mean a lack of goodness or flavor.

I came up with this dish while on the Whole 30. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. I do love eggs and have no problem eating them every day, but this dish is a great breakfast or brunch for the egg-weary. My non gf-Whole 30-paleo family loved this dish, as well (except for my currently vegetarian teen – who I know would have if she was eating meat).

You can serve this over roasted sweet potatoes, as I did, but it would be equally delicious over white potatoes, cauli-rice, or gluten free biscuits. Also, if you are just wanting to make a breakfast sausage, simply follow the first half of the recipe, mixing the spices into the meat, form patties, and pan fry.  You can also substitute ground pork for the turkey for a more traditional sausage gravy. If you choose to go the dairy route in this, use a different thickener for the arrowroot – corn starch, potato starch, or a gluten free flour. Arrowroot gets gummy when used with dairy, and that will not make for good gravy!

Turkey Sausage Gravy

Turkey Sausage Gravy  (Click title for printable recipe)

1 Tablespoon + teaspoon ghee, or butter, divided
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder*
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Add 1 teaspoon ghee to a skillet over high heat. Add ground turkey and sage, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and allspice. Brown, breaking meat apart with the back of a spoon.
Once browned, remove meat from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain juices from pan. Return to burner, over medium heat. Add tablespoon of ghee and onion. Sauté until translucent, tender, and golden, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and arrowroot. Whisk and cook for about 1 minute, or until bubbly. Whisk in chicken stock, ensuring there are no lumps. Cool for an additional minute, until thickened and bubbly. Add coconut milk, remaining spices, and turkey. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until thickened. Serve over roasted potatoes.

*Use a different thickener (corn starch, gluten free flour, etc) if you choose to sub milk for the coconut milk. Arrowroot + dairy = gumminess.

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