Amazing Wild Duck Gumbo

From Garden and Gun Magazine

John Besh’s Wild Duck Gumbo

Chris Granger

Duck and Oyster Gumbo
(serves 8 – 10)

2    wild ducks (2½ to 3 lbs. each), quartered
Salt and pepper
2    tbsp. herbes de Provence
1    cup rendered duck fat or lard
1    cup all-purpose flour
2    onions, diced
2    stalks celery, chopped
1    lb. andouille sausage, diced
½    lb. smoked pork sausage, chopped
1    tbsp. minced garlic
3    qts. chicken or duck stock
2    cups oyster liquor
1    tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2    tbsp. Creole seasoning
2    bay leaves
2    cups okra, diced (frozen works fine)
3    cups oysters
Tabasco sauce
1    qt. cooked jasmine rice
½   cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Liberally season the ducks with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Slowly roast in preheated oven until most of the fat has rendered out and the skin is nice and crispy, about 2 hours. Remove the ducks from the oven, and reserve the fat. Once cool, pick all the meat and skin from the ducks, and cut into roughly 1½-inch pieces. Reserve.

To make the roux, heat 1 cup of reserved duck fat (or lard) in a pot over medium heat, add the flour, and allow it to slowly cook to a light golden brown. This should take about ½ hour. Adjust heat if necessary (if cooking too fast) and allow the roux to further brown, stirring often, until it resembles the color of milk chocolate. This should take approximately another 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, and cook until the roux takes on a deep dark chocolate color. This should take another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the duck, celery, sausages, and garlic, and cook to combine for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock, oyster liquor, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, and okra, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until flavors marry, occasionally skimming the fat that rises to the top, about 1½ hours.

Add the oysters, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season the gumbo to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Serve over rice in a large flat soup bowl, and garnish with chopped green onions.

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