All Day Duck Gumbo

April 24, 2011
4 Ratings
Author Notes

I thought quite a bit about what to enter for this week's theme - of course I considered making something truly Texan to reflect my love for my adopted state. I also considered pulling from everywhere I have lived, like I did with my paella. But in the end I went with this gumbo for a few reasons. One, Leo and I have a great love for Louisiana, it's culture and food and people. We go there every year - sometimes for a festival - sometimes during a down time. Leo proposed in New Orleans, and we have great friends that live there. Also, I wanted my dish to reflect our lives. At our house on any given weekend you will usually find a crowd - large or small - gathered around a pile of crawdads, or bobbing in the pool waiting for somethng to come off the grill, or maybe in the living room cheering for our Longhorns, or possibly just gathered around our big kitchen table. In all cases there is sure to be food, friends and family. I make this gumbo 2 or 3 times a year and it is a crowd favorite. I should probably call it 2 day gumbo because you really want to shop the day before. Also I think you could compress the timeline by being efficient with multitasking, but I don't. I like to do a step, water the garden, another step, go for a swim, another step, maybe throw in a load of wash or walk the dog, and generally meander through the day until it's time to feed some folks. I make several different kinds of gumbo, but this one is really the Cadillac of them all. We love this stuff, I hope you will too. - aargersi —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is AMAZING! I’m no Gumbo connoisseur, but this dish I will happily make again. I served it over brown rice and while not traditional it was a nice compliment to the Gumbo. Because of timing, I broke up the cooking over two days. One day, I roasted the duck, toasted the flour, and cooked the sausage; I did the rest on the day to follow. Everything worked out great! I love cooking things over a long period of time; it just adds to the anticipation of a wonderful meal ahead. This gumbo will not not disappoint! - inthebow —inthebow

  • Serves a crowd
  • 1 - 5 pounds duck
  • 1 whole bulb garlic
  • Kosher salt and sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 pound pork andouille sausage (3 links)
  • 1 cup chopped onion - fairly small chop
  • 1 cup chopped celery - same size as the onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper - same size as the onion and celery
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (I know this sounds like a lot but trust me)
  • 4 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 brown beer (I use Abita Amber)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper (a full teaspoon makes it pretty spicy)
  • 3 whole bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file
  • green onions, for garnish
  • EQUIPMENT - roasting pan preferably with a rack, and a heavy gumbo pot - I use my Le Cruset dutch oven
In This Recipe
  1. Start in the morning! Put the oven on 250, and arrange the racks so there is room for the duck on top and a baking dish below. Remove the neck and giblets from the duck, rinse him and pat him dry. Cut the top off the bulb of garlic. Salt the duck inside then put the garlic inside. Prick him all over with a sharp fork - pierce the skin but not the meat. Sprinkle him all over with salt and paprika, tuck his wings behind his back (I got a one armed duck so he only had one tucked). Spray the rack of your roasting pan or wipe it with oil, and put the duck on breast side down. Throw the neck in the pan too. Put him in the oven.
  2. Put the flour in a baking dish - I just use a 9x13 black metal one. I also do 4 cups at a time, you will use 1/2 cup for the gumbo and the rest can go in a jar in the pantry for future rouxs and gravies. Put the flour in the oven too. For 3 30 minute intervals pull out the flour and stir it, and re-poke the duck skin with a fork. After the third time (you are an hour and a half in now) flip the duck over and repeat - 3 more 30 minute intervals with flour stirring and skin poking at the end of each one.
  3. NOW - turn the oven up to 350. The duck is going to roast for another 30 minutes until it is nice and brown. Then pull him out and set him aside to cool. Put the andouille links on a cookie sheet (I spritz with no stick) and into the oven. After about 10 or 15 minutes flip them - they should be browning and spattering. Give them a little poke with the fork too to let out some of the fat. Stir the flour and cook 10 or 15 more minutes, Pull the andouille out, and stir the flour. Put the duck and andouille on a big cutting board where you can process them and let them cool all the way. Chop the veggies while you wait and stir that flour every 10 or 15 minutes until it is a nice toasty brown. You won't think it's dark enough but when you add it to the oil in awhile it will be. I am attaching a photo of what you are looking for.
  4. Chop the veggies. Time for music - suggested listening - The Subdudes (of course), Mingo Fishtrap, The Gourds, The Neville Brothers, Rockin' Doopsie
  5. Open the beer and let it sit for a bit. Cut the sausage up into bite size discs. Break down the duck - this is what I do - first, pull off the breast skin which will still be a little soft - SAVE IT. Then I get a stock pot and literally pull the meat off with my hands and rip it up and throw the bones in the stock pot (duck and grilled steak bone stock is awesome). I pick what I can off the neck and add that to the duck pile and throw the neck bones in the stock pot. It's all completey barbarian. But it's fun.
  6. Wash your hands. Put vegetable oil and 1/2 c toasted flour in the gumbo pot on medium heat. Stir until it's hot - see how dark it got? Once it's hot add the onions and stir for a 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, peppers and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the broth and the beer. It's going to look odd and lumpy - never fear it will smooth out as it simmers and you stir. Bring it to a simmer, then add the spices EXCEPT the gumbo file - that goes in last. Also, start with 1/2 tsp of cayenne and then taste it in about 15 minutes for heat. You can always add more.
  7. Add the duck and the sausage and the vinegar. Let the pot simmer away - now is a good time to clean the kitchen a bit. You could probably use a beer or a glass of wine or a giant iced tea. Cook the rice, too. Chop up the green onion. The gumbo is best if you can give it an hour to simmer on low, so do other stuff. Taste it now and then to see if it needs salt or cayenne.
  8. You are almost done! Now for a little lagniappe - get the duck skin and cut it up into small pieces. Fry it in a heavy skillet on medium heat until it is very brown and crispy. Drain it on to paper towels ... try not to eat it all right then. Now, right before serving, turn the heat up a bit and stir in the gumbo file.
  9. Time to EAT - rice goes in the bowl first, then gumbo. Top it off with green onion and duck cracklins, and enjoy. It has been a long day, right?

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I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage