This can be made with hundreds of different combinations of smoked meats, game, poultry, and seafood, and in my opinion, the more the merrier. The procedure is pretty straightforward, although you're talking about a full day's project. Serve in a large soup plate with a scoop of cooked white rice, a sprinkle of green onion, and a pinch of cayenne.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
5 hrs 55 mins
total:
6 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook duck legs in the hot oil, skin-side down, until duck legs are browned and skillet contains rendered duck fat, about 10 minutes on the skin side. Flip and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the meat side. Remove duck legs from skillet, leaving rendered duck fat in the skillet.

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  • Whisk 1 cup flour into the duck fat, adding enough vegetable oil to make the flour mixture a thick and smooth roux. Turn heat to medium-low and cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it turns a rich reddish-brown color, about 40 minutes. Whisk 2 more tablespoons flour into roux and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Whisk chicken broth into roux, 1 cup at a time, until all broth has been incorporated. Remove roux mixture from heat.

  • Brown andouille sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, about 8 minutes; stir in onion, peppers, celery, and 4 green onions, cooking until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into sausage mixture, followed by diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

  • Place smoked ham hock into the center of the sausage and vegetables. Pour roux mixture over ham hock along with enough water to cover. Place duck legs into mixture. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and cover with a lid set at an angle to let steam out. Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally until duck and ham hock meat are tender, about 4 hours. Skim as much fat as possible off the top as it simmers.

  • Remove duck and ham hock to a bowl and let cool. Stir pickled okra into gumbo. Pick meat from duck legs and pork hock and return meat to the gumbo. Simmer gumbo for 45 more minutes.

  • Turn heat to medium-high, bring gumbo to a boil, and stir in shrimp and crawfish tails. Cook until shrimp and crawfish tails are bright pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon green onion, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

Cook's Notes:

The deeper the color of the roux, the deeper and richer the flavor of your gumbo. The darker the roux, the less it will thicken.

Use any combination of hot and sweet diced peppers.

Nutrition Facts

485 calories; protein 37g 74% DV; carbohydrates 21.6g 7% DV; fat 27.1g 42% DV; cholesterol 221.2mg 74% DV; sodium 716.7mg 29% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (19)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/04/2014
My husband said it was the best gumbo he ever tasted in his life. I made it last Sunday and it took from 10:30am to 1 pm to have everything in the pot. I rated it 4 stars because I changed the spices so much to add more flavor. Here are comments and changes: 1. Used 5 skin on chicken thighs vs duck legs and took skin off after browning 2. Used 1.75 lbs andouille sausage because I did not use cray fish 3. Cooked roux in oblong cast iron pan so only took 20 min 4. I did not add 2 more TB of flour because we wanted soup bowls not plates 5. I used a lot more stock 2.5 32 oz boxes( for Roux I used his amount of stock and added extra in soup pot) 6. I used Chef John's thyme and cayenne but added a large sprinkle of garlic powder and 2T of Emerl's Bayou blast and file powder in the end 7. I strained off a lot more fat and used 2T in the rice instead of butter 8. Chopped green onion and parsley sprinkled on rice 9. Loved John's tips of using some fat from meat for roux and using pickled okra 10. Only make this when you have a day off and for friend's and family who appreciate gumbo I made this last Sunday and making Chef John's American onion soup this Sunday Read More
(17)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
07/30/2019
Horrible Read More
27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
10/04/2014
My husband said it was the best gumbo he ever tasted in his life. I made it last Sunday and it took from 10:30am to 1 pm to have everything in the pot. I rated it 4 stars because I changed the spices so much to add more flavor. Here are comments and changes: 1. Used 5 skin on chicken thighs vs duck legs and took skin off after browning 2. Used 1.75 lbs andouille sausage because I did not use cray fish 3. Cooked roux in oblong cast iron pan so only took 20 min 4. I did not add 2 more TB of flour because we wanted soup bowls not plates 5. I used a lot more stock 2.5 32 oz boxes( for Roux I used his amount of stock and added extra in soup pot) 6. I used Chef John's thyme and cayenne but added a large sprinkle of garlic powder and 2T of Emerl's Bayou blast and file powder in the end 7. I strained off a lot more fat and used 2T in the rice instead of butter 8. Chopped green onion and parsley sprinkled on rice 9. Loved John's tips of using some fat from meat for roux and using pickled okra 10. Only make this when you have a day off and for friend's and family who appreciate gumbo I made this last Sunday and making Chef John's American onion soup this Sunday Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2014
Chef John your the best. What a wonderful dish. We use Lobster, Duck Breast, Crawfish, Shrimp of course and frozen Okra. Turned out great!! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
02/04/2016
Made this recipe as stated except substituted langostinos for the crawfish meat. Loved the broth! Did not realize cooking the roux longer would bring out such a rich taste. Definitely an all day dish. Poor hubby only gets it once a year for his birthday! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2015
This was fun to make and it took all day which I love for my days off. The base flavor was outstanding but I did end up adding a lot of garlic powder cayenne white pepper and onion powder to liven it up not to mention some liberal dashes of tabasco which I never use but HEY its Cajun! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2017
Made this for dinner party. it was a huge hit! Took all day but worth it. Used fresh okra cut thin. Expensive dish but a great result. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2018
I didn't have a Ham hock so I browned bacon to get the fat for my roux. Also when I added the seafood I also added a little gumbo file Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2014
Amazing I made a batch for 12 people for my PD and the first shift killed it. The was not anything to scrap off of the sides of the pan! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2017
I used duck and goose legs and wings from my last hunt as well as some elk sausage from the butcher otherwise I was as true to the recipe as I could be. Absolutely amazing! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/15/2019
Another terrific meal from Chef John! One thing don t use a smoked ham hock as I did. It made it too salty. I was able to counter this by adding cut up potatoes - they absorb salt. I need to make this again and a lot of it - because my neighbors who got a taste are clamoring for more. Look out ducks! Here I come so DUCK! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
07/30/2019
Horrible Read More