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Survival Recipes: How to make waterfowl gumbo

265 190 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness


Gumbo is on the menu for about 50 Boy Scouts and volunteers today  (Jan.4, 2014) as part of the annual Christmas tree recycling fundraiser.

It’s 19 degrees outside, and several of us volunteers will be doing all the cooking outdoors. Here’s another addition to your survival kit: a recipe for duck or goose gumbo. 

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by Leon Pantenburg

A successful waterfowl hunter may end the season with a bunch of ducks and geese in the freezer. So how do you cook them so everyone can enjoy them?

My favorite waterfowl dish is gumbo. There are dishes, such as this one, that just don’t taste as good unless you use a gamebird such as a pheasant, chuker, duck or goose in them! In a pinch, you can use chicken. I prefer the dark meat, and generally get a big pack of thighs.

A key ingredient for gumbo is on the way! (Kcoy.com photo)

If you do the initial cooking at home, you can de-bone and pack the meat in a plastic bag. Then, at hunting camp, you can add the rest of the ingredients to make a quick meal.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can all be done in one large Dutch oven or pan, as long as you have a heat source. The simplicity and ease of cooking makes duck gumbo a valuable wilderness survival recipe, while the flavor makes it a gourmet meal! If you bake some biscuits or sourdough bread in a Dutch oven to go along with this, you’ll get major kudos.

I’ve been doing variations of this basic recipe for years, and you can mix any number of  game birds to create a delicious gumbo. This is a favorite with the Troop 18 adult patrol on Boy Scout campouts!

Duck Gumbo
3 large, or 6 small ducks, or 2 geese

1 large onion, diced

1/2 Tbs black pepper

Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning (If you can find it! Other Creole seasoning may have to be substituted!

Place waterfowl in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add onions and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce
heat and simmer two to six hours. Removed meat and let cool. Reserve stock. Bone waterfowl and chop meat coarsely. Season generously with Creole seasoning.

1 c vegetable oil, mixed with 1 c flour

2 large onions, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb okra, chopped or 2 10-ounce packages of frozen chopped okra

4 crumbled bay leaves

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp red pepper

1 tsp thyme

2 tsp Tabasco brand pepper sauce

salt and pepper to taste

dash of file powder

cooked rice

Make a roux by cooking flour and oil in large skillet, stirring constantly, until it is peanut butter brown. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and okra. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes. Add meat and cook another 20 minutes. Skim grease from the reserved stock and add to the mixture. (There should be enough liquid to fill the pot about 2/3 full; If not add water to bring to that level.)

Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves, Worchestershire sauce, red pepper thyme, TABASCO, salt and pepper. Reduce heat; cover and let simmer for one hour. Sprinkle with file powder and serve over rice.

2 comments
  • watash

    I’m a native of Louisiana and have a suggestion.

    You should know there’s a secret, (it used to be – but I’m giving to you), ingredient to a great-tasting gumbo.
    A tablespoon or three, depending on the size of the pot, of white vinegar.

    Trust me on this one, you don’t want to be able to taste the vinegar, but it’s the
    little taste that “you cant quite figure out what the cook put in there” that makes it perfect.

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