Oyster Duck Gumbo Recipe by Chef John Besh

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This savory gumbo is a perfect holiday dish when the oysters and duck are fresh in season.
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Oyster Duck Gumbo recipe by Chef John Besh
Oyster Duck Gumbo by Chef John Besh. Photo: Louisiana Kitchen and Culture, David Gallent.

Chef John Besh, born in southern Louisiana, reflects on the holiday culinary traditions celebrated throughout Louisiana with this holiday gumbo. This delicious recipe of duck and oyster gumbo showcases the vital relationship between the abundance of Louisiana’s field and stream and bringing it to the kitchen table. Enjoy this recipe during the holidays when fresh oysters and duck are perfectly in season.

November 2013’s Recipe of the Month, courtesy of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture Magazine.


  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 1 large domestic duck or 3 average-sized wild caught, each cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 pounds spicy chicken sausage links, sliced into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 green onions, chopped
  • 4 quarts store-bought chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 3 cups shucked oysters
  • 1 cup oyster liquor
  • 6 cups hot cooked rice

Method of Preparation:

Make a roux by heating oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat; whisk flour into hot oil. It will immediately sizzle. Reduce heat to medium; continue whisking until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 15 minutes. Add onions, stirring into roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue stirring until roux is brown, about 10 minutes.

Season duck with Creole spice. Add duck to pot, increase heat to medium, and cook, turning pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken sausage and stir for 1 minute; add bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add green onions, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes; stir occasionally, skimming off fat from surface of gumbo as it simmers.

Add andouille, and Worcestershire. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim fat from surface.

Add oysters and oyster liquor just before serving. Serve in bowls over rice. Serves 10 to 12.


Explore more recipes like this in the Culinary Trails around Louisiana or sign up to receive the eNewsletter packed with information, recipes and tips for your next trip to Louisiana. Visit Louisiana Kitchen & Culture Magazine.