- 5 to 6 ducks
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 large bell peppers, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Water, to cover the ducks
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil (if needed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Reserved duck broth
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 tablespoons mango-tamarind spicy Jamaican pepper sauce (recommended: Pick-a-Peppa brand)
- 1 large package smoked pork sausage, diced and browned
- Reserved chopped duck meat
- 1/2 cup finely chopped reserved bacon
- 1 package frozen okra, cooked to package directions, drained
- 1 pound raw shrimp, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons gumbo file
- White rice and French bread, as accompaniment
To a large stockpot, add the ducks, onions, bell peppers, garlic, bouillon, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and enough water to cover the ducks. Bring to a boil and cook the ducks for about 1 hour, until tender. Remove ducks and pull the breast meat from the bones and chop them into small pieces – use only the breast meat and discard the rest of the bird or save for another use. Strain the broth and save. Set aside the chopped duck breast and broth to use later.
In a large, deep, black skillet or kettle, fry the bacon and sausage. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the pan. (Here’s where I added the saute-the-veggies step.) To the hot bacon grease, slowly add the flour, if the mixture is of a paste consistency, add more bacon grease or oil until it’s loose and easy to stir. Stirring constantly, flour-grease mixture should cook on medium heat until a dark caramel color is obtained. Add the salt and pepper and stir. As soon as the salt and pepper are stirred into the roux, add the remaining ingredients to make the gumbo.
To the hot roux, add broth, then the onions, peppers and tomatoes. Add the seasonings. Then add sausage, duck, bacon pieces and okra. Next add the shrimp, cook until shrimp is pink. Finally, add the gumbo file and stir. Let gumbo simmer for about 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the better it gets.
Serve over white rice with hot French bread.
If you’re into German red cabbage, here’s that recipe as well.
- 1 medium head red cabbage, cored and sliced
- 2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 2 whole allspice
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cold water DIRECTIONS
- In a Dutch oven, toss cabbage, apples and onion. Add water, vinegar, sugar, butter and salt. Place the peppercorns, allspice, cloves and bay leaf on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and stir with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours.
- Discard spice bag. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir in cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
I left out the cornstarch and water. Didn’t see that it was needed. And for what it’s worth, a Fry Daddy doubles quite handily as an electric kettle when both your stock pot and your Dutch oven are in use.
Finally, here’s my very own lemon icebox pie recipe, honed through years of cooking them for an ex-husband who loved them a lot more than he did me. The kids still like ’em pretty well.
Lemon Icebox Pie
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lemon juice
2 large eggs
graham cracker pie crust, either your own (with a sleeve of crushed graham crackers, a quarter-cup sugar, and a quarter stick of melted butter) or a prepared one
Beat eggs, condensed milk and lemon juice until smooth and well blended. Pour into pie crust. Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Chill. This will make more than enough for one pie and not enough for two; either make two at a time with three cans of milk, a cup and a half of lemon juice and three eggs, or bake the leftover filling separately in a ramekin for the kid with the gluten allergy.
If you like meringue, you can separate the eggs, put the yolks in the pie and beat the whites with a tablespoon of sugar to make it. I don’t, so I don’t. I top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.
Pig out, load the dishwasher, crash and burn. Tell y’mama ‘n ’em to come on down the bayou for some gumbo.