Film: Smoked Teal and Oyster Gumbo

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Gumbo is the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana.  The genesis of gumbo can be traced to several different cultures to include French, African, American Indian, and Spanish.  The base for every legitimate gumbo is its roux.  This not only serves as a thickening agent for the dish but also gives it a deep rich flavor that is second to none.  It is the perfect camp meal on a cold day.  For this recipe, I made my own roux by combining equal parts vegetable oil and all-purpose flour.  Cook it over low heat and stir constantly.  You will have a roux that is the color of “chocolate pudding” in 45 minutes to an hour.  Let cool.  The key is to not be rushed in the process.  If patience is not one of your virtues, a store bought roux will do just fine.

For this recipe, I used teal (both green-winged and blue-winged) that were harvested on a public land south Louisiana hunt in 2019.  I find these little jet fighters of the duck world to be the tastiest.   All in all, 15 of these speedy delicacies were harvested that morning.  I was accompanied by great friends and the memories made that morning will stay with me for a lifetime.  Several of the breasts didn’t make it past brunch that morning, as I love cooking fresh game on the spot.  The rest were reserved specifically for this recipe.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes with a store bought roux

Cook time:  3 hours

Special Equipment:  Stock pot

Ingredients:

12 teal breasts (can be substituted by equal amount of chicken)

1 pint of shucked oysters and oyster liquor (natural juices from the oyster)

1 onion chopped

1 bell pepper chopped

1 clove of garlic chopped

1 pint of shucked oysters and oyster liquor (natural juices from the oyster)

8 cups of water (homemade duck stock would be amazing)

¾ cup of dark roux

Seasoning of your choice

Onion tops or parsley for garnish

Serve with:

Rice

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Meat Preparation:

  1.  Season duck breasts according to your specific liking
  2. Smoke ducks on the Traeger at 225 degrees for 45 minutes (Signature Blend pellets)

Gumbo Preparation:

  1. Bring water to a gentle boil in stock pot
  2. Stir in roux until completely dissolved (15-20 minutes)
  3. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic 
  4. Add smoked ducks and cook for 45 minutes stirring occasionally
  5. Add oysters and liquor at the end being careful not to overcook the oysters
  6. Serve over rice and garnish with onion tops

Chef’s note:  Gumbo is always better the next day.  It also freezes very well.

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Jason Thornton

I am a husband and a father to a beautiful family that deeply enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening. I grew up hunting and fishing in South Louisiana and currently live in Lafayette, LA (the Sportsman’s Paradise).

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