Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

When it comes to parties, my sister really knows what she’s doing. While most of us are capable of decorating the house, having friends over and feeding them, my sister takes it to a whole ‘nother level. It is always a good time and the food is always excellent…and sometimes the cops show up.

There have been many memorable parties at my sister’s house but one of my favorites was the Mardi Gras party she had last year. There were beads, there were Hurricanes (and a few bodies on the couch), and there was gumbo. Really good gumbo.

With Mardi Gras once again upon us, I find myself thinking about that gumbo. A Lot… (And the Hurricanes, don’t forget the Hurricanes! Just keep it to one or two.) Here is the Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo recipe (below) If you have the time this weekend, try it. You can always pop the leftovers in the freezer for a fabulous midweek treat. 

Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo
Adapted from Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer
Yields 8 Servings
You can substitute an equal amount of roasted chicken for the duck. But if you get a chance to use duck, give it a try. It’s delicious!

4 duck legs, or 1 whole duck
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil or rendered duck fat, plus extra for cooking okra
1/2 cup flour
2 medium onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 pound andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups rich Chicken Stock
2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon file powder, optional
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Bouquet Garni herb bundle
Hot sauce
Cooked white rice, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the duck in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast the duck until tender (legs for about one hour and the whole duck for about two hours). Save the rendered fat to make the roux. Let the duck cool and pick the meat off the bones.

Heat the 1/2 cup or duck fat in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or cast-iron pot* over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the roux turns a deep brown resembling the color of peanut butter—or even a little darker, for a richer flavor, (about 10- 12 minutes).

Add the onions, peppers, and celery, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Stir in the sausage and cook three more minutes. Then add the garlic and whisk in the stock, one cup at a time. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Heat two tablespoons vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, sear the okra and add to the pot, along with 1/2 cup scallions. Add the thyme, optional file powder, Worcestershire sauce, Bouquet Garni, hot sauce to taste, the reserved duck meat, and a little salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring from time to time, for at least one hour.

Skim off any fat from the top. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce and serve hot, with or without rice. Garnish with the reserved scallions.

To enrich your chicken broth or intensify a store-bought one, pour it into a pot, add the picked duck or chicken bones, and simmer for 15 minutes. You may need to add a little water to make sure you end up with 6 cups.

*Note: Using the right cookware is essential for gumbo—don’t even think about a thin, flimsy pot.


Comments are closed.