Wild Duck (Mallard) Gumbo

From the Kitchen of: Dan Zekor '82
Category: Main Course


Wild (mallard) duck breasts (6) – other species may be used and quantity adjusted based on size and preference.
Shrimp (peeled deveined) – optional
Andouille sausage (1 lb)
Celery (3/4 cup)
Green pepper (1 cup, diced)
Onion (1 cup, diced)
Okra (3/4 cup, sliced) – fresh or frozen
Flour (1 ¼ cup)
Cooking oil (1 ¼ cup) – I prefer peanut oil for the nutty taste, but vegetable or canola oil is fine.
Pepper (1/2 tsp)
Cayenne (1/2 tsp)
Smoked paprika (1/2 tsp)
Garlic powder (1/2 tsp)
Chicken stock (2 qt)
White rice
Hot sauce (to taste)


Soak duck breasts in salt water in refrigerator for 24 -36 hours to remove blood and lessen gamey taste. Re-soak duck breasts in plain water for another 8 hours to remove excess salt.
DIRECTIONS Drain water from duck breasts and pat dry. Slice breasts into bite-sized chunks to preference. When slicing, watch for and remove any steel shot or embedded feathers. Add spices to duck (pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic powder) and mix well. Add 2 Tbs of flour to duck, mix again and set aside. Dice onion, green pepper and celery and set aside.
ROUX In a cast iron skillet (preferred) add oil and raise temperature until hot. Slowly add flour, stir/whisk continuously until all flour is added. Keep stirring the flour/oil mixture to create a rich mahogany colored roux; do not allow it to burn. Once the desired color and consistency has been achieved, turn-off heat and immediately add the vegetables, stirring them in to cook and cool the roux. Transfer the roux and vegetables into a heavy pot. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring as you go.
COOK DUCK BREASTS Add one tablespoon of oil to the leavings in the roux skillet while re-heating the skillet. Add the duck chunks and stir continuously to brown without over cooking (5-8 minutes). Transfer cooked duck chunks to the roux/chicken stock mixture and stir in well. Raise temperature to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add andouille sausage and okra, stirring occasionally – simmer for about 30 minutes.
PREPARE SHRIMP Peeled and deveined. Size and amount up to you; medium shrimp; whole or cut into chunks works well. Add shrimp and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Serve in bowls over white rice. 
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