Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gumbo a Go Go – Duck, Andouille Sausage, Smoked Pork Hock, Gulf Shrimp and Langoustine Gumbo

It’s not easy to pry gumbo-making secrets from a cook in New Orleans, but you should have better luck if you slip them some truth serum, in the form of several well-made sazeracs. 

This particular gumbo, featuring duck, andouille sausage, smoked pork hock, gulf shrimp, and langoustine, was inspired by my recent trip to New Orleans, where I sampled a half-dozen varieties.

One rye whiskey-induced tip was to cook the famous Cajun roux in some duck fat instead of the more common and mundane vegetable oil. The roux is the soul of the gumbo and one of the challenges of this recipe is giving the fat and flour enough time to turn into that deep brick red-brown color.

My little trick here is to add a couple extra spoons of flour after the roux is browned. The dark roux gives the gumbo its signature flavor, but it doesn’t have much thickening power. I just cooked it a couple minutes, and then stirred in the stock.

Another tweak is using pickled okra instead of fresh or frozen. This particular perversion was born out of necessity rather than some brilliant thought on my part. Of course, if this technique catches on, that story will change. The pickled okra gave the gumbo a great flavor and added a little bit of acidity, which is always welcome in something this substantial.

This can be made with hundreds of different combinations of smoked meats, game, poultry, and seafood; and in my opinion, the more the merrier. As usual, I’d love to hear about any variations you may come up with. As you’ll see, the procedure is pretty straightforward, although you’re talking about a full day’s project. This is a dish that takes time, but I still hope you give it a try. Enjoy!



2 duck legs
1 tbsp vegetable oil, more as needed
1 cup flour, plus 2 tbsp for second addition
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound andouille sausage
1 large onion, chopped
4 green onions chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup diced peppers (any combination of sweet and hot)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 smoked pork hock
2 cups water, or as needed
1 cup sliced okra, fresh, frozen or pickled
1 pound gulf shrimp
1 pound crawfish tail meat or langoustine
rice to garnish

50 comments:

Dr EEEEEEE said...

"and let it simmer for four to five hours."

Thank you! <3

Anonymous said...

Love your recipes. However - and I normally don't request anything - but an awesome garlic shrimp tutorial would be fantastic.

Andy said...

This gumbo looks wonderful!

Question: My son is on a gluten free diet and I cant use flour in any recipes. Do you think a cornstarch slurry is a good substitute for a flour based roux in the sauces and stews that need thickening?
Thanks,
Andy

Chef John said...

You can use CS and it will thicken, but the point of the roux here is mostly for flavor and color. Fresh okra will also thicken it.

Anonymous said...

How would you recommend doing the roux if I planned to leave out the duck in this recipe?

Chef John said...

just more vegetable oil

Steven K said...

Do you think duck breast would work? I don't have any duck legs, but I have a box of skin-on duck breasts. Maybe I should add them later on so they only simmer for the last 2 hours rather than 4 hours?

Chef John said...

Those are best seared medium rare, so I wouldn't use in this, personally.

Anonymous said...

Where am I supposed to get sliced Orka? Whale hunting is illegal around here! Seriously, This looks like a great recipe. I will probably substitute chicken thighs for the duck legs. I can't imagine that the taste advantage of using duck would come through the sausage, that's some strong stuff if authentic.

Anonymous said...

A common measure of a deep roux such as this is the color of an old penny.

Kir said...

Using picked okra reminded me, that in middle east they usually marinate okra couple of hours in salted water with lemon juice :)

LDM said...

Another gluten-free alternative flavoring/thickening agent is to use Gumbo File. It's basically powdered Sassafrass leaves. It would be hard to find at a big-box store, but can be bought online through Pensey's (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysgumbofile.html)

I haven't actually used it myself, as I'm a big fan of roux.

How To Videos said...

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Chris K. said...

In Cajun country they're called mud bugs, not crawdads or crayfish. As the story goes, when the Acadians left Quebec the lobsters followed them south. It was such a long trip that the lobsters shrank by the time they arrived in Louisiana.

Another traditional thickening agent is filé powder, which is basically dried and pulverized sassafrass leaf. It's usually added at the table, last minute. If you overcook it, filé acquires a slimy texture like okra. But it's also gluten-free, if that's a dietary concern.

I like to make gumbo with home-made tasso ham and/or pickled pork. Tasso is pork shoulder that's been dry-cured for a few days in a spicy rub, then smoked over low heat. It's great in gumbos, jambalayas, etouffeés, and cooked greens.

Jason said...

Great video as usual. I love Gumbo! I usually do Andouille, shrimp, oysters and crawfish.

Anonymous said...

Pickled orka, I wonder what Willy would think about that ;)

Mike said...

I can't find orka anywhere can I substitute Okra?

Anonymous said...

"the pickled orka gave the gumbo a great flavor " I sure think that it would! Whale meat added for great flavor - why should only eskimo's know this. :)

Chef John said...

sorry, i would have fixed the orka typo faster, but i was enjoying the comments too much. thanks!

blogagog said...

Looks awesome! Since you've committed to doing some Louisiana cooking, can I recommend two more Louisiana favorites for you to remake? Crawfish etouffee and shrimp creole. I'd be curious what a San Franciscan would do with them.

Anonymous said...

New Orleeeeens. Hurts the ears!

Monica said...

I prefer to use venison sausage as we are usually down with it. The freezer will fill up come opening weekend but we do have smoked elk so might try that. They sell goose fat which works just as well as duck fat.
great recipe but i will use crock pot.

Vincent said...

I'm gonna make this. Soon.
I bet it's gonna be great with a teaspoon of Tabasco stirred in a minute before serving.
Tell me though, is there something that can stand in for andouille sausage? I've been looking for it ever since your chicken and sausage gumbo video, but I haven't been able to find the cajun variety so far.

Chef John said...

Literally any spicy and/or smoky sausage will work!

Anonymous said...

This looks very tasty. I recently discovered andouille sausage and use it often now, mostly in your spicy sausage ragu recipe :)

Paul from Orlando said...

Chef John, I'm a big fan. I was inspired to learn how to really cook (as opposed to just stirring recipes together) by a bowl of gumbo at the now-defunct Baton Rouge branch of Mulates restaurant. I have been cooking different versions of gumbo ever since. But this video of yours may require that I take my "game" to a whole other level....

Thanks again,

IcyAsh said...

Hi Chef John, I've been watching your videos for over a year now and I love it that they're great and easy to follow.

I saw that you commented the SEA prawns weren't that great in the video and I posted a comment saying I was sad. I wasn't implying you were racist and your fans started to bash me while some explained that imported ones aren't as good as the fresh ones. I'm not a cook (I don't know how) and I finally understood what you really meant when you made the comment.

I would really appreciate it if those haters would leave me alone. The snarky sarcasm is getting really aggravating and unhealthy.

Steven K. said...

Well this was great. I had 2lbs of frozen shrimp that I needed to use, so I doubled the recipe. You said to use what you have, so I used: 6 chicken legs, 2 ham hocks, 2lbs of gulf shrimp, 2lbs. of louisiana-style sausage, 1lb. of bay scallops and 1lb. of crawfish tails. I don't really like the flavor of crawfish on its own, but its great in this recipe. It gives the gumbo a certain swampiness. For the roux, I used a combination of bacon fat, chicken fat and vegetable oil. It was a lot of work to make this, but it was really worth it.. Thanks for another great recipe!

Steven K. said...

Quite funny. I invited my parents over to have this for dinner last night and my dad said he could just eat it all day. And today, around 6pm, he drove to my house to sit in the driveway to wait for me to come home so he could have some more. Lol. I don't know why, but I have a feeling that this will be one of those recipes where the next time I try to make it, it just somehow isn't as good as the first time.

Lewis said...

Looks awesome and I can't wait to try it this weekend!

How many does this recipe serve?

Chef John said...

Like 4-6, depending on how much people eat.

Anonymous said...

Does Gumbo really take like 4-5 hours to make. Talk about making this in the morning for lunch, LOL. Any Subs for the sausage and pork hock? I don't think they sell those even in one of those big imported products supermarket in where i live.

Chef John said...

Yes they will!

Bethany said...

Hi Chef John,

I'm a full blooded cajun from Houma, Louisiana (South of New Orleans). Couple things of note. No one in my family ever cooked anything spicy. I think that is something people in the city do to make the tourist happy. There is one great place to try gumbo in New Orleans actually in Metairie not far from the airport. It's the only restaurant that I've ever been to that makes it like my grandmother. I would love to crack their recipe. I have g-ma's, but I have trouble nailing. The restaurant is called Parran's and it's located at 3939 Veterans Blvd. Metairie, La. 70002. It's not even worth taking a trip to Louisiana without stopping here for Po Boys and Gumbo!

dainty-empress said...

I saw this recipe on your channel and basically all the important ingredients aren't readily available in my tiny backwards country but BY THE FOOD GODS I WILL MAKE THIS - because it looks amazing :o And thank you for the tip on a replacement for the andouille sausage, I asked my butcher about them but he said it's a summer thing -_-

Anonymous said...

Quick question, did you use drake legs for the duck; they seem quite larger than what I saw at the market? Also, what brand of okra did you use? I was at Whole Foods and all they had were varieties that had chipotle or smoked paprika in them.

Chef John said...

Sorry, I'm not going to be much help. Not sure about drake legs, but these are the only duck leg size I've ever seen at least where I shop. Dont remember brand of okra, and the jar is gone!

dez said...

Chef John can you do a recipe on etoufee?

Anonymous said...

hey now...looking this over...you'll kill that duck with that chicken stock...you'd better yourself with either a) veal stock, or b) shrimp stock...but never ever from a can...also "pickled okra"? seriously?...my dead Granny would kick your butt...save yourself the headache and embarrassment and forgo the okra, if you can't do it right...if you need thickener, get some file powder...

Enzo said...

By the Gumbo principle you said, I made this using what I had available in our kitchen - chicken, shrimp, Italian sausage, roasted pork and bacon grease for the roux. Didn't have enough time for the full 4 hours and was only able to simmer the dish for an hour and a half. Despite that, the taste turned out surprisingly well! Thank you, once again, Chef John!

Hmon from UK said...

Literally spent all day looking at Gumbo recipes and this one really stands out and makes sense to me! Love the video and love that you actually take a close look at what you send up with (was confused how runny Gumbo should be - or not). Anyway my question is... How many does this serve? Need to feed 10 hungry souls this Saturday and don't want to be short. Thanks.

Elaine Livingston said...

Do you have to stand there the whole 40 minutes continously stirring or do you let it cook 5 minutes then stir, 5 minutes stir...etc. Thanks

Chef John said...

no, you can take breaks.

Kreizboi said...

Hey Chef John. Whats a good sub for andouille that is not spicy as I have two toddlers? Thanks.

Chef John said...

any mild Italian sausage!

Michael Duong said...

Hey Chef John, mine didn't turn out like yours. It wasn't a thick golden brown like when I order it at a restaurant. Instead it was thinner and murky brown colored. Is this because I cooked the roux for too long?

Chef John said...

Yes, you cooked yours longer, but not necessarily too long. Your is how the classic gumbos look!

ItasF said...

Hi Chef:
I bought duck breast on impulse and you are right, simmered duck breast does not work (and I love duck breast). I enjoyed making the roux, thanks for demonstrating in detail how it's done. Delicious gumbo, first time for me. My only regret is not watching the white rice video (argh!). My white rice is usually multipolar. Thanks again!

Devin said...

Where's the best place to find a smoked Pork Hock?

Novonia said...

Truly delicious, I very much enjoyed this recipe and so did the family.
I did finagle it to our region though - chicken thighs instead of duck legs. Our market only had the sausage in 12 oz packages so I got 2 of those and used just a pound of shrimp (no fancy crawdads in the area). Picky eater me shredded the onion with a box grater (get all the flavor and none of the texture I don't like - and us picky eaters cant even tell its there) :)

And Devin - my food runner got a country ham hock at the local big market super store it didn't even need to be refrigerated and it worked fine even though it didn't say smoked (there is a lot of pepper on the outside and I did rinse that off)

Would love to see some more recipes with the andioulle sausage or that deep roasted roux (lol, I could almost prank someone that I melted my roasted almonds with that!)