duck, andouille and oyster gumbo
I had 5 ducks taking up room in my tiny freezer, courtesy of a generous duck hunting friend, so it was time to pull them out and cook them up. Hadn’t made duck & andouille gumbo in a long time, so I got all the fixins to make a pot. Oysters are a perfect complement to duck so I got a pint to toss in at the end.
I cut a few corners, so for those purists out there, you can do everything fresh. I got 2 pounds of frozen okra, used dried parsley, and put in a couple of bottles of clam juice instead of making stock. I chopped up the seasonings in advance and froze them so time spent today cooking would be reduced. Here are the ingredients.
5-6 dressed and cleaned whole ducks (teal, grey, mallard, etc)
2 pounds andouille sausage
1 pound bacon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 pint oysters (P&J are the best)
2 chopped onions
6 stalks chopped celery
1 large chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 minced jalapenos
2 pounds okra, cut into rounds
1 bunch green onions, save the green tops for the end of the cooking
salt, pepper, parsley and bay leaves (6)
I started off prepping the okra.
A friend told me years ago to bake the okra in the oven to cook off the slime. Another method I learned from a lady from Arabi at the Roadfood festival last weekend in the Quarter is to cook the okra with the tomatoes and the acid in the tomatoes cuts the slime. I made a single layer of okra in an enamel pan coated with cooking spray.
I checked it every 20 minutes and stirred them a bit, note the slime cooking off.
Two thirds of the way through cooking the okra.
The okra baked for an hour and 15 minutes.
Here are some more of the ingredients I used.
Next I fried off the ducks which had been salted and Slap Ya Mama’ed…
…and split them in half with a kitchen shears – I wound up quartering the greys cause they were so big.
After the ducks were browned, I fried off the bacon to collect the drippings to make the roux. Bacon drippings make a great base for a gumbo roux.
So then I added about a cup and 1/2 of flour to the bacon drippings
and stirred until it was a light chocolate color…
..and then added the seasonings (onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos). There is absolutely no need to cook a roux over an hour or more, if you have a heavy aluminum or cast iron pan, put the heat to high, and stir it constantly, it takes 10 minutes at the most.
So I let this cook for about 30 minutes, then added the can of Rotels and a couple teaspoons of sugar to cut the acid.
Next came the bay leaves and the parsley…
…then the sausage, bacon, okra, and clam juice (you can use chicken broth instead if you like). I used fresh bay leaves from the laurel tree in my front yard.
Lastly I laid the ducks into the gumbo, stirred and cooked for about 3 hours, until the ducks became tender. I left the pot uncovered and had to add about a cup of water extra per hour so the ducks would continue to cook.
For the final 20 minutes, I added a pint of P & J oysters and the green onion tops.
Meanwhile, I started cooking the rice. Rice is easy, and you don’t need to spend a bunch of money for a rice cooker. A saucepan with a tight fitting lid works fine. Use long grain rice for stews and gumbos. The ratio is always 2 parts liquid to one part rice, which also applies to jambalaya recipes.
For this batch I used 2 cups water to one cup rice, and added a little salt.
Bring water to boil, add rice, bring it to a second boil, cover then turn down the heat to simmer and 20 minutes later, perfect rice.
and when the gumbo and the rice are done, its time to eat! Bon Appetit!