Duck and Andouille Gumbo

Filé powder is made from the dried, ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It's used for both flavoring and thickening gumbos. Find it in the spice aisle.


2 ducklings, quartered

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated flour

2 medium onions, diced

10 cups hot duck stock or water

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 large green bell pepper, cored and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

2 green onions, sliced

⅓ cup minced parsley

1 tablespoon filé powder

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Place quartered duckling pieces in a roasting pan. Prick skin with a fork; place in 350°F oven 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle; remove skin.

  • In a large, heavy soup pot, combine oil and flour to make a roux. (Melted duck fat can be used to make up some of the oil.) Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture turns a dark, reddish-brown.

  • Turn off heat; carefully add half of diced onion. Continue stirring until onion begins to turn translucent.

  • Slowly add hot broth; stir until roux dissolves in liquid and broth begins to thicken. Turn heat to medium high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; place duck pieces in broth; simmer 1 hour.

  • Remove duck and set aside to cool. Add remaining onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and andouille; continue cooking over medium heat 1½ hours.

  • Stir in cayenne, thyme, and sage; remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to top. Remove duck meat from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces; add with onion and parsley.

  • Reheat gumbo over medium heat. When very hot, turn off heat and stir in filé powder. Add salt and pepper and serve over steamed rice.

All-American Andouille

Andouille sausage is a specialty of Cajun cuisine. While it shares the name of a traditional French tripe sausage, the recipe for Louisiana andouille is quite different. Cajun cooks prepare the thick sausage with coarsely ground pork, pork fat, and a generous amount of pepper and other seasonings. The sausage is then smoked for many hours, resulting in the characteristic firm texture and smoky, spicy flavor.

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