A Louisiana favorite shines with fresh duck, making this a perfect recipe for hunters; you can tailor the spices to your tastes!
A Louisiana favorite starring fresh duck makes a perfect recipe for hunters.
About this Recipe
I asked my ladies of the Patrons & Peers group to share any recipes that would tie in well with my books, and this one was actually a particular request of mine. In ages past, duck hunting was the primary draw of visitors to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ocracoke in particular. Knowing that member Candice and her husband are avid duck hunters in Texas and that this duck gumbo recipe is one of her favorites, I knew I wanted to share it with you!
One of the defining features of gumbo, a traditional Louisiana dish, is that it mixes multiple meats together into a spicy stew. This gumbo not only has duck breast, but also sausage. Then, of course, the veggies and thickened sauce. As with many thicker soups and sauces, it’s crucial to create the roux first to give your soup a thick, smooth base.
Recipe courtesy of Candice and Steven Woods
For the roux
- ½ cup flour (can substitute with gluten free flour)
- ½ cup of avocado oil (can use any other oil or bacon drippings, note that coconut oil isn’t preferred)
For the gumbo
- 12-24 duck breasts (about 6 big ducks, ex. Mallards, for a total of 12 big duck breast, or 10 small ducks, ex. Teal, for a total of 20 small duck breast – you can always combine the two.)
- 24 oz Andouille sausage (2 packages, Cajun holler is our preferred brand)
- 6 sticks celery
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 3 bell peppers, red and/or green
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 cups beef broth
- ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (our favorite is Crystal Louisiana’s)
- Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend
- Browning seasoning
- Rice (white, brown, cauliflower – whatever you prefer)
- Make the roux. For the roux add flour and cooking oil to your pot. Stir constantly for 20-30 minutes until a rich amber color forms. This is the base of your gumbo and what gives it richness.
- Once the roux has reached is dark amber color, slowly add in 4 cups of broth, ensure the thickness stays.
- Once roux is done, tenderize and cut duck into bite sized pieces. In a pan, add just enough oil to cover the pan then add duck, browning seasoning and natures seasoning to taste. For us its about 1/2 to 1 tablespoons of browning seasoning and 1-2 tablespoons of nature’s seasoning. Cook until duck is medium rare. Remove duck and place in pot with roux.
- Cut andouille sausage into round bite size pieces. Add browning seasoning, and natures seasoning to taste, about the same amount as the duck. Cook until sausage in the pan is done and add to the pot.
- Add chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, browning seasoning, and natures seasoning (to taste). sauté veggies in the pan. Add 3 cloves of garlic chopped, then cook for 30 more seconds. Add to pot.
- Once everything is in the pot add water until liquid just covers everything in the pot.
- Bring to a boil then let simmer for at least 1 hr.
- Enjoy over cooked rice (add in extra hot sauce too!)
If using wild ducks be cognizant of birdshot, it can chip a tooth in a heartbeat if you’re not careful.
You can make it your own. Try experimenting with different seasonings and the amounts and types of onions and peppers to see what you like the best. This is just what we like best.
From the Books
With Grann from Yesterday’s Tides cooking, being from Louisiana as she is, you can be sure gumbo would have been on the menu at the Ocracoke Inn; and duck gumbo would have been a staple, given that duck hunting was the primary tourist draw of the island in the early twentieth century.
A fresh salad of parsley, mint, and green onions, with roma tomatoes and bulgur wheat marinated in a tangy dressing.
Belgian Hot Chocolate
If you love hot chocolate, you’ll fall in love with this rich, decadent drink of melted chocolate and creamy milk.