Gumbo is all about improvisation. If you don’t have some of the ingredients below, use what you have or what you can find.
This recipe was adapted from My New Orleans by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Yield: 10-12 Servings
1 cup duck fat or canola oil
1 cup flour
3 large onions, diced
2 cleaned ducks, cut into 12 pieces (if just using breasts, use 4 whole breasts each cut into 4 pieces.)
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices (see below)
2 pounds spicy chicken sausage links, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6–8 green onions, chopped
4 quarts Basic Chicken Stock (page 13)
2 bay leaves
1 pound smoked pork sausage links, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Freshly ground black pepper
4–6 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice
Make a roux by heating the oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a nice brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a light brown color, about 10 minutes.
Season the duck with Creole Spices. Add the duck to the pot, increase heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken sausage and stir for a minute, then add the bell peppers and garlic. Increase the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the green onions, Chicken Stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
Add the smoked pork sausage to the pot, then the Worcestershire. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat off the gumbo. Serve in bowls over rice.
John Besh’s Creole Seasoning
Recipe adapted from My New Orleans
Makes about ½ cup
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon allspice
Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.