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Gumbo is an example of Cajun cookery’s prime directive—waste not, want not. This makes it the perfect dish for using up any odds and ends in the deep-freeze.

Reprinted with permission from The Wild Chef

1 large wild duck, or 2 small ones, cleaned and quartered
About 3 pounds mixed wild game (quail, dove, goose, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, venison, etc.), dressed and cut into manageable pieces
1 yellow onion, quartered
4 ribs celery, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups sliced okra
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Steamed white rice for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, combine the duck and game with the onion, celery and carrots. Drizzle with vegetable oil and toss to coat. Salt and pepper generously, then place in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer the contents to a 2-gallon stockpot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and reserve the meat, picking out bones and fat. Strain the stock, discard the vegetables and other solids and return about 3 quarts of the strained liquid to the stockpot. Keep it simmering as you start the next step.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the oil and the flour in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. As the mixture browns, keep whisking (to prevent the flour from burning) until it resembles chocolate syrup (3–4 minutes). Immediately add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, green onions, garlic and sausage. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are wilted. Transfer the mixture to the stock and stir until evenly blended. Add the reserved meat, bay leaf and thyme.
  3. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil until it shimmers. Cook the okra, stirring, until it is no longer ropy and slimy. Add the okra to the stockpot and simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice.

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