Chef John's Duck, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo


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

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
6 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 50 mins


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or more as needed

  • 2 duck legs

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 1 pound andouille sausage, thickly sliced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 cup diced serrano and pasilla peppers

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 4 green onions, chopped (Optional)

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

  • 1 smoked ham hock

  • 2 cups water, or as needed

  • 1 cup pickled okra, rinsed and sliced

  • 1 pound gulf shrimp

  • 1 pound crawfish tail meat

  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions (Optional)


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook duck legs in the hot oil, skin-side down, until browned and fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on other meat side. Transfer to a plate, leaving rendered fat in the skillet.

  2. Whisk 1 cup flour into the duck fat, adding enough oil to make a thick and smooth roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, 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.

  3. Whisk in broth, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Remove from the heat.

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

  5. Place smoked ham hock into the center of the Dutch oven. Pour roux mixture over ham hock along with enough water to cover. Place duck legs into the mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. 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.

  6. Transfer duck legs 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.

  7. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp and crawfish tails; cook until both are bright pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon sliced green onion, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

Chef'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 instead of serrano and pasilla peppers if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

485 Calories
27g Fat
22g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 485
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 717mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 27mg 135%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 628mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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