Duck & Mushroom gumbo

Duck & Mushroom Gumbo  (serves 6-8)

Lard, butter or oil
1 cup flour
4 duck breasts
3 yellow peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic , chopped
3 quarts chicken stock
6 portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 bay leaves
1 large sprig rosemary
2 large sprigs thyme
3 (or more) bottles beer, whatever you’re drinking. Don’t use crap.
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, brown the duck, skin side down, flipping once until rare, about 10 minutes. Remove the duck and set aside. In the same pot add enough duck fat (if you’ve got it), oil or melted butter to make 1 cup total of fat. Heat on high until shimmering and then add 1 cup of flour. Turn the heat down to medium-low and whisk vigorously and continuously until the roux thickens and darkens. Watch your hands though, it isn’t called Cajun Napalm for nothing, and you might want to cover up with an oven mitt. The roux should smell nutty, but not burnt. When you have reached the desired color, add the celery, peppers, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow all remaining roux to dissolve in the liquid. Add the mushrooms and about 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and bring the mixture back to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for no less then 3 hours (we cooked ours for 5 hours), adding pieces of duck every hour or so, until all is incorporated. Skim fat and foam from the surface as you go. If you wish, as the mixture thickens, add beer to maintain a thinner consistency. Or, if you’re like us, add the beer for extra flavor and then thicken anyway by boiling, lid off, towards the end of the process.

When you are ready to serve, spoon over white rice and top with diced scallions and parsley and a sprinkle or two of hot sauce. Eat and repeat.