After much unintentional teasing, I’m finally getting this recipe out to the world/Jim at Outdoors Down South.
My mother-in-law Nancy makes this duck gumbo, and while I had never had hers, I heard about it a LOT from Wheat. Like, a whole lot. So with duck season upon me, I got the recipe from Nancy, who got it from Southern Sideboards, the Junior League of Jackson Mississippi cookbook. This is one cookbook I plan add to my collection soon.
So Jim, this one’s for you!
Start out with whole cleaned ducks. Ladies, this is where your husband who killed those ducks comes in. Make sure he knows to leave them whole and pluck them well!
You’ll start the gumbo by making a duck broth with the ducks, celery, an onion, and a bay leaf. Get that rolling and concentrate on the rest.
You’ll brown the sliced smoked sausage a little to render some fat, but if you used smoked venison (deer) sausage like me, it won’t render much of anything! Set it aside to drain.
Next: the roux.
Also known as the babysitting phase. You have to watch carefully when making a dark roux. You can go from a dark, beautifully velvety roux to burnt in a few seconds. Keep an eye on it and whisk often. It will go from a flour color, to a medium brown roux…
To a dark roux very quickly.
Add the chopped veggies and cook slowly in the roux. Add the duck stock and cook to gumbo-like consistency, then add the pepper, duck meat, and sausage to the pot and simmer for hours on end. Season to taste, in the pot or in the bowl, with red pepper and hot sauce.
By the way, I had leftover duck stock (I just added strained stock to the roux to fill my 5 quart pot, and had some leftover). I froze it for some later moment of culinary genius.
Duck and Sausage Gumbo Recipe
serves 20 or so, no biggie
Original recipe from Mrs. G. Richard Greenlee
– 2 pounds smoked sausage (I used venison)
– 1/2 cup bacon drippings
– 1 cup flour
– 7 to 8 wild ducks, whole
– 4 tablespoons salt, divided
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 ribs celery, quartered
– 1 onion, quartered
– 2 cups chopped onion
– 2 cups chopped celery
– 2 cups chopped green pepper
– 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
– Red pepper to taste
– Hot Sauce to taste
– Cook white rice
Cut sausage into rounds and cook briefly to render grease. Drain. Make a very dark roux with bacon drippings and flour. Boil ducks in about 4 quarts water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt, bay leaf, quartered celery and quartered onion. Remove ducks from pot when cooked and once cool, pick the meat from the bones and set aside. Reserve strained stock. Cook chopped vegetables slowly in roux. Add 3 quarts duck stock and cook to consistency of thick gumbo. Add the pepper, duck meat, and sausage. Simmer for 3 hours. Season to taste with red pepper and hot sauce.
Freezes well. Serve over rice with salad and French bread for dipping.
I like things spicier than most, so I prefer to leave the gumbo as is, and let everyone add red pepper and hot sauce to their own bowls.
And as far as hot sauce goes, y’all know I prefer Crystal. But pick your poison.
Nancy said that this recipe is just as delicious with chicken instead of ducks, and you can use any type of smoked sausage you’d like. It was very tasty, and perfect for the cold weather we had last week. Sorry that it seems slightly inappropriate right now in SoWeGa, seeing as it was almost 80 degrees here yesterday. (Not that I’m complaining!) But where some of you live, maybe it’s still cold? Or maybe you just like gumbo and just don’t care? Or maybe the only person who wants this recipe is Jim? I’m not sure.
Anyway, I cooked this, and we ate this, and it was good. The end.