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Mardi Gras jambalaya or Cajun gumbo?

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2 whole duck legs (drumstick and thigh, about 1 pound total)
 salt, freshly ground pepper
 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
 canola oil
 1/4 cup all purpose flour
 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
 4 ribs celery, sliced (about 2 cups)
 2 cups chopped bell pepper (I used a mix of red and green)
 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
 2-1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
 1 cup water
 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
 2 bay leaves
 1/2 pound fresh okra (may substitute frozen – see Kitchen Notes)
 1-1/2 teaspoons filé powder (optional – see Kitchen Notes)

cooked white rice
chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

A quick tip: Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic before starting to cook the duck. It will make things easier – it will also make your kitchen smell like heaven right away.

Season the duck legs with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in a dry, unheated Dutch oven or heavy pot. Set the heat to medium-low and brown the duck on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. If the duck doesn’t release from the pot at 5 minutes, just let it cook a minute or so more and it will. Transfer the duck to a plate and add the andouille sausage. Brown just for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and transfer to a bowl (or the plate with the duck legs).

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