Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo - BBQ Central

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Old 01-08-2006, 05:40 PM   #1

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Okeechobee, Fla
Posts: 326
Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo

This was one of my contributions to the Christmas Eve pot luck we host every year. Thanks to Pat Barnes for the inspiration.

The ducks I used were from my pasture. Though they'll tool up to the horse barn to nab any grain the horses drop into the sand they get most of their food from the pasture and pond and are not fed by us. Consequently they are smaller and much leaner than store-bought packaged duck. I used three ducks for this recipe. I'd use two if store-bought.

It is important to use a good heavy pot to make gumbo. Because I stew the smoked duck in the pot for a little while to enrich the stock (removing the meat from the bones later) I used an 8qt pot,its extra capacity was enough to handle the bones. If your pot is not heavy-bottomed, use a 12-inch heavy-bottomed sauté or frying pan to make the roux. After you add the vegetables to the roux and they soften, scrape the mixture into your pot, turn the burner on under the pot to medium and continue with the recipe by immediately whisking in the stock.

A roux for gumbo is not difficult but it requires time and constant stirring. A 'classic' roux is cooked relatively briefly--just long enough to cook the flour a bit before adding the liquid--a Cajun roux is cooked until deeply colored. Because it is cooked so long it thins considerably so it only thickens the gumbo slightly--but it adds tremendous flavor.

Have all your ingredients ready before starting the roux. I use a flat whisk for roux through the stock-adding point and then switch to a wooden spoon. Balloon whisks aren't suitable; use a wooden spoon from the get-go if you don't have a flat whisk. Once you start your roux stay with it--let a ringing phone go to voice mail. If you absolutely have to break away, remove the pan from the heat, stir vigorously for a minute to cool it (do the same thing if it starts to smoke at any time during cooking), then return it to the heat when you return.

Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo

1/2 c veg oil

1/2 c flour

2 large yellow onions, finely chopped

1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 ribs celery (4 if using shorter ribs), finely chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 T dried thyme or 2 1/2 fresh, minced

2 bay leaves

1/4-1/2 t cayenne

pinch salt

1 qt duck stock* plus 1 qt low-salt chicken stock (or 2 qts duck stock, if you have it)

3 smoked ducks (See comment above; see ** below for prep and smoking suggestions), cut into 8 pieces

1 lb andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 c minced fresh parsley

8 scallions, divided; 6 sliced thinly, 2 left whole

freshly ground black pepper

1 t filé (optional)

Cooked white rice, for serving

Re-heat the duck stock, if necessary, over very low heat, uncovered, so that it is warm--not hot. Have the spices and vegetables ready to go.

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over med-high heat for 2-3 min till just starting to shimmer. Reduce heat to med and whisk or stir in flour a little at a time till all is added, whisking till smooth after each addition. Continuously whisk--making sure that you hit all the corners of the pot--till the roux has thinned considerably, the color is deeply brown (it should look a bit darker than milk chocolate with a reddish tone), and the aroma is of well-toasted grain, about 25-30 min.

Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme, bay, cayenne and salt and cook, stirring constantly at the beginning till all is well-incorporated, frequently therafter, till the vegetables sweat and soften, about 10 min. Whisking vigorously, add half the stock in a steady stream. When well-blended add the rest of the stock.

Bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Skim any foam that has risen to the surface and add the duck pieces. Cover to speed up the return to a simmer, about 2-3 min, then reduce the heat to med-low and cook, removing the cover to skim foam periodically, 30 min. Remove the duck pieces from the pot and allow to cool on a platter.

Stir in the sausage and return to a simmer, uncovered, over med heat, stirring occasionally. Cook about 30 min. Meanwhile, set the cooked rice up to reheat gently and then remove the meat from the duck bones; dice the breast meat and leave the thigh and leg meat in larger chunks. Add the duck meat to the pot and allow to return to a simmer. Add the parsley and sliced scallions and cook a few min. Meanwhile, slice the remaining two scallions thinly; reserve. If using the optional filé, remove the pot from the heat, stir in the filé , cover, and allow to rest a few min. Stir, adjust salt, pepper, and cayenne.

To serve, ladle the gumbo into bowls and serve a small bowl of rice alongside each serving or mound about 3/4 c rice in the middle of a soup plate (an ice cream scoop, small soufflé cup, or ramekin is handy for this) and ladle the gumbo around the rice. Top with a scattering of the reserved sliced scallions; serve.

* Make duck stock while the ducks are brining, while they're smoking, or any convenient time. Remove the wings from the ducks and combine with the necks and giblets (except the liver; save it for another use). Keep hilled until ready to make the stock.

To make 1 qt of duck stock from 2 purchased ducks (or 3 from your pasture) heat 3 T of veg oil in a 2qt pot over med-high heat. When the oil is hot but not quite smoking add the reserved duck wings and giblets and stir well to coat with the oil. Add a small quartered onion (no need to peel), 2 or 3 parsley stems, a pinch of dry thyme (or if you're using fresh thyme for the gumbo use a couple of the stripped stems), a few peppercorns and a t of salt. Stir, cover, reduce the heat to med and sweat the contents of the pot 5 min, stirring once in the middle. Remove the lid, up the heat to med-high and and cook, stirring frequently, till the wings are well-browned, about 10-15 min more. (If the onion browns sooner than the wings remove it; add it back later when the wings have browned.) Add 5 c water and bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Remove the cover, reduce the heat to med-low and simmer about and hour. Strain out the solids, mix with the chicken stock; reserve. Reheat till warm for use in the gumbo.

** Ducks are a major PITA to pluck so I don't. I remove skin and feathers all at once. You don't need skin-on pieces for gumbo (you don't really want them, imo) which is a good thing since it allows you to remove the skin and the fat underneath before brining and either render the fat while the ducks brine or freeze it all and render at a more convenient time. Duck fat is great for eggs, sautéeing vegetables, and is unbeatable for frying potatoes.

After you've removed the skin and fat and reserved the wings, neck, and giblets, brine the ducks for smoking. You can use a flavored brine or brine straight. I made a straight brine (1/4 c Kosher/1qt water and added a couple T of sugar per quart. I brined several hours then low/slow smoked with a little cherry wood till the breast hit 160. (I was not paying close attention to the time but it doesn't take long since the skin and fat are gone.Store-boughts take longer since they're meatier but you're only looking at several hours, not all day.) I cooled the ducks, uncovered, then cut them up. (Cut the back off the carcass then cut it in two crosswise. Cut the leg quarters off and cut each of them in two. Split the breast along the breast bone then cut them each in two crosswise.)
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