French German Gumbo


In an exchange with Virginia at Our Growing Paynes she mentioned making Louisiana gumbo with duck.  I’d never had duck in my gumbo but it sounded worth trying.


It seems as if every second package in the freezer contains duck.  Did I exaggerate while in France?  Nah.  I’m just prepared in case of an outbreak of German mad duck disease 😉


The package of duck I used for the gumbo had 2 legs and 4 “manchons” or wing drumsticks.  Perfect.  3 or 4 duck legs would be the equivalent.


The reason I call this recipe French German is because of the French duck and the fact that there was such a wail from both father and daughter when I told them I would use the Toulouse sausages in the gumbo. They thought I should “save” them to be eaten with mashed potatoes.  Okay, bratwurst is so not a gumbo sausage but it was that or the Italian hot sausages that would have been even more bizarre.  Bratwurst it was.


The taste was different than my usual gumbo, still it could be called gumbo.  I would use duck again but probably not the bratwurst, although the family swore up and down that the brats were such a great idea.  Fibbers 😀

French German Gumbo

4 whole duck legs

Creole seasoning

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves, quartered

Leaves from 2 celery branches

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tsp mixed peppercorns

2 quarts water

Season the duck with the Creole seasoning, then brown in the oil.  Set the skillet, reserving the oil, to the side. Put the duck in a large stock pot with the vegetables, herbs and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.  Reserving the broth, remove the duck, allow to cool, then remove the skin and bones, breaking the duck into chunks.  Set aside.

2/3 cup flour

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 celery branches, sliced

1 tbsp Creole seasoning

1 tbsp gumbo file

5-6 bratwurst, browned and sliced

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tbsp gumbo file

Sliced scallions

Brown the flour in the reserved oil until the flour is cooked and a chocolate brown.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery, then cook until soft.  Sprinkle the vegetables with the Creole seasoning and file, then gradually add, stirring, about 10-12 cups of the reserved broth.  Pour the broth into a large stockpot, bring to a boil, then add the bratwurst and duck chunks.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the fire, stir in the second tbsp of gumbo file and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Serve with rice, scallions and more gumbo file if desired.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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29 Responses to French German Gumbo

  1. I’ve never made gumbo – I should. Bookmarked for inspiration :D. Duck sounds wonderful in this, Rosemary!

    • The duck was good. There are two gumbo making factions; one using gumbo file and the other okra. We’ve always been gumbo file people but I have tasted good gumbo with okra.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Please use real Germans next time 😉

  3. lolarugula says:

    I’ve not heard of duck in gumbo either, but this looks and sounds wonderful! I’m always learning new ideas on your site! 🙂

  4. trixpin says:

    What a great recipe. I’ve never made gumbo so I’d never have known that duck WASN’T supposed to be in there! Looks like a great recipe to try, thank you 🙂

  5. Beautiful photography! Not to mention, it looks delicious.

  6. Looks wonderful! Thank you for the link in. For me the duck idea came about as I had sausage to use up and only a little duck. 🙂

  7. I’m all about putting French ducks in everything 🙂 Looks beautiful, Rosemary!

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Unusual style of mash-up. I, like others above have never tried a gumbo. I need to rectify this.

    • I am surprised at how many people, including Americans, don’t know about gumbo! My mother always made it for celebrations and at Christmas time gumbo was always included along with the turkey and ham.

  9. Hell yeah. Love gumbo. Love duck. Love bratwurst. Winning

  10. Raymund says:

    I never thought zhat z german vud hav sum Gumbo in their cusine, interesting to know 🙂

  11. GDR. says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a letting while now, and this has definitely piqued my interest.
    I’m a big fan of gumbo, and I’ve always wondered what duck tasted like.
    Seems like this is just the recipe for me to get crazy with.

  12. Pingback: Gumbo Science & 23 and Me : Do we eat what we are? | The Gumbo Diaries

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