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Harry

Has anybody ever used store-bought duck in gumbo?

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I'm all out of mallards and wood ducks, but a friend of mine wants me to show him how to make duck gumbo. I've never done it with anything but wild ducks and have always assumed that using Long Island ducks would result in a greasy pot of gumbo. Has anybody out there ever tried it before? If so, how did it turn out?

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I'm all out of mallards and wood ducks, but a friend of mine wants me to show him how to make duck gumbo.  I've never done it with anything but wild ducks and have always assumed that using Long Island ducks would result in a greasy pot of gumbo.  Has anybody out there ever tried it before?  If so, how did it turn out?

You are correct in assuming that store-bought ducks are very fat and I find don't work very well in duck gumbo. Too, Long-Island ducks don't have a lot of meat on them. And you'll certainly won't have the flavor that mallards and wood ducks bring to the gumbo. Tell you friend to wait until you can use wild ducks. It would be better to make a chicken/andouille gumbo.

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I've used leftover roasted domestic duckling in a duck gumbo--used the pan drippings as part of the fat in making the roux, stripped the meat from the frame and boiled the frame in the gumbo, then added the chunked meat near the end. Not exactly the same flavor as wild duck gumbo, but a good use of leftover fowl, much as you would make a day-after-Thanksgiving turkey gumbo. But restaurants MUST be making duck gumbo with domestic duckling, as it is against game regulations in this state to sell wild game in restaurants (no USDA food inspections, etc) here in Louisiana. I had a delicious duck gumbo at Herbsaint recently, too. Or do restaurants buy pen-raised mallards?

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I've used leftover roasted domestic duckling in a duck gumbo--used the pan drippings as part of the fat in making the roux, stripped the meat from the frame and boiled the frame in the gumbo, then added the chunked meat near the end.  Not exactly the same flavor as wild duck gumbo, but a good use of leftover fowl, much as you would make a day-after-Thanksgiving turkey gumbo.  But restaurants MUST be making duck gumbo with domestic duckling, as it is against game regulations in this state to sell wild game in restaurants (no USDA food inspections, etc) here in Louisiana.  I had a delicious duck gumbo at Herbsaint recently, too.  Or do restaurants buy pen-raised mallards?

This is more or less what I do, too, not having access to anything but suupermarket duck most of the time. I actually make a formal stock and render the fat separately, but it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Marcelle, it seems cruel to deprive someone of duck gumbo simply because the best ingredients aren't available on demand. I know that goes against the grain of local, fresh, etc., but it's not like the chicken you can get these days is the best of all possible specimens.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Mea culpa for saying I wouldn't use store-bought duck to make a duck gumbo. It's really just a matter of personal taste. I used a domestic duck one time and didn't care for the taste, but then I suppose I'm spoiled for the taste wild ducks bring to the gumbo.

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