Fat Tuesday is less than a week away and if you are going to celebrate this event here is a dish that will make all of your guests very happy. If you are adventurous in the kitchen then my recipe for delicious Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo is perfect for you.
The recipe isn’t difficult to prepare but it does take time. One of the greatest things about this Gumbo recipe is that it can be made a day or two in advance of serving. Making the Gumbo in advance gives you time to enjoy being with your guests instead of spending hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up at the last minute. Besides, the advanced cooking gives the Gumbo time to develop the layers of flavor I am always talking about.
1 5-Pound Duck, Back Bone and Wings Removed and Cut Into Quarters (If you have a butcher you can count on, ask if they will cut the duck into quarters)
4 Teaspoons Emeril’s Essence, Divided
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Spanish or Vidalia Onions, Medium Dice
1 Cup Celery, Medium Dice
1 Cup Carrots, Medium Dice
1½ Cups Red Bell Pepper, Medium Dice
6 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
2 Cups Yukon Gold Potatoes, Skin Left On, Medium Dice
12 Ounces Smoked Andouille Sausage, Skin Removed, Sliced Into ¼” Discs (or Smoked Kielbasa)
12 Ounces Tasso Ham or Smoked Ham, Cut into ½” Cubes
2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
Rice Pilaf As An Accompaniment
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Season the duck pieces with 2 teaspoons of Emeril’s Essence. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until hot. Add the duck pieces skin side down and brown until crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the pieces over and repeat the process. Remove the pieces to a shallow roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Cook the duck for approximately 1 hour or until the duck is cooked through. When cooked remove from oven and let cool until the pieces can be handled to remove the meat from the skin and bones. Discard the skin and bones and set the meat aside.
While the duck is cooking reduce the heat to medium and add ¼ cup vegetable oil to the pan with the drippings from the duck. Immediately add the flour. Stir the flour with a whisk at first to incorporate the flour into the oil. Change to a large spoon and continue stirring the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux, constantly stirring and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, for 15 minutes or until the flour turns a deep golden brown.
Add the onions, celery, carrots, red pepper, garlic, potatoes and sauté for about five minutes. Add the hot stock and stir to combine. Add the sausage, Tasso/ham, the two remaining teaspoons Emeril’s Essence, salt, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook the gumbo for 45 minutes covered, keeping the cover slightly off kilter, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add the duck meat to the gumbo and cook an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately with Rice Pilaf. ( OR You can cool completely and refrigerate for a couple of days. When ready to serve, heat over medium heat until hot.)
Place heaping ½ cups of Rice Pilaf in the middle of individual warm soup bowls and ladle a good portion of the gumbo around the rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.