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    Duck and Sausage Gumbo (From the Mississippi Flyway)

    Source of Recipe

    From "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" by Martha Foose

    Recipe Introduction

    "Flyways are the long arterial air highways used by migrating birds. More than 3,000 miles long, the Mississippi Flyway is a major route used by geese and ducks. With barely a rise to interfere with the traffic flow from the Mackenzie River emptying out into the Arctic Ocean to the Mississippi River flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, this thoroughfare passes right over our farm. For the last few mornings I have been awakened at dawn's first light by the report of shotguns from across the river. When row-crop fields are too muddy to work and the water is high in the new year, many sportsmen devote a good deal of time to duck hunting and other leisure activities. When the water recedes and the fields dry, they will be back to work before sunup. That means this gumbo is in season during duck season to warm the people on the chilly January evenings. Either okra or filé can be used in this gumbo. But, please—one or the other. If you wish to use okra, add 1 cup sliced before you add the herbs. If you wish to use filé, add it to the gumbo when it has finished cooking. Turn off the burner and stir in 1 tablespoon. Allow the gumbo to sit undisturbed for a few minutes to thicken."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ ½ cup plus ⅓ cup peanut oil
    ◦ 2 wild ducks (such as mallards), dressed, skin removed, cut into pieces, bones and all
    ◦ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 1 pound andouille sausage, cut in 1-inch rounds
    ◦ ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    ◦ 1 medium onion, chopped
    ◦ 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    ◦ 1 stalk celery, leaves and all, chopped
    ◦ ½ cup chopped parsley
    ◦ 2 cloves garlic, minced
    ◦ 2 quarts vegetable broth
    ◦ 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    ◦ 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    ◦ ¼ teaspoon dried sage
    ◦ 2 cups cooked wild rice
    ◦ 2 tablespoons chopped chives
    ◦ Hot pepper sauce


    Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add ½ cup peanut oil and heat until hot. Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook, turning and rearranging a few times, until browned all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the ducks from the pot and set aside. Discard the oil in the pot.

    Add the remaining ⅓ cup oil to the pot and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Scoop out the sausage and set it aside with the duck.

    Sprinkle the flour into the oil and sausage drippings in the pot. Whisk to combine. Cook, stirring, over very low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until it makes a dark roux.

    Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley, and garlic.
    Gradually stir in 1 to 2 cups of the broth to make a smooth sauce. Add the thyme, marjoram, and sage. Add the duck pieces and sausage, pouring in any of their drippings, too. Add the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours, until the duck is fall-off-the-bone tender.

    Serve over wild rice and sprinkle with chives and hot sauce to taste.

    Serves 6


    • Six quail or 20 dove breasts, may be used in this recipe in place of the duck; reduce the cooking time to 1 hour.

    • Venison sausage, found in many hunters' freezers, can be added in place of the andouille.

    • If preparing this in late summer with ducks from the freezer, add 1 cup fresh corn kernels and two diced, seeded tomatoes, when you return the cooked duck and sausage to the gumbo; it brightens the flavors, especially when the gumbo is finished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.




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