Wild Duck and Oyster Gumbo
The rich flavor of wild ducks pairs very well with oysters in a gumbo, and if you have some less desirable ducks, such as shovellers or diving ducks, this is a great use for them.
- 3 wild ducks, plucked and gutted, or use 12 skinned breasts
- 1 cup lard or oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
- 4 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 6 dried bay leaves
- 1 quart shucked oysters, with their liquor
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce
- Chopped green onions
Cover the ducks with cold water in a big pot and bring to a simmer. Skim the pot and cook the ducks until tender, about 4 hours. Remove the ducks from the pot, pick the meat from the bones and pass the stock through a fine strainer. Reserve 3 quarts of duck stock and all of the duck meat.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Melt the lard in a cast iron pan and stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Place in the oven and cook, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until the roux is a deep chocolate brown.
Place the hot roux in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the smoked sausage, onions, pepper, celery, parsley, thyme, oregano and bay, stirring often. Cook the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the stock into the roux, stirring constantly, until it is all absorbed and thickened. Cook for 2 hours over low heat. Add the cooked duck, oysters and their liquor and cook until the oysters curl at the edges, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice, hot sauce and chopped green onions.
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