Buckshot Gumbo

Bryan Caswell describes his Cajun grandmother, Ma Daigle, as French, Catholic and four feet tall—five feet with the bun. She taught him to cook gumbo without the usual okra or filé and absolutely no tomato. Caswell thinks slow-cooked dishes like this deliciously spicy, meaty stew may be the best way to cook wild fowl. "They're never going to get tender otherwise," he says. "They've been flying south for 1,000 miles."


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  • Servings: 6

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  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Two 1 1/2-pound boneless goose breast halves with skin, skin scored in a crosshatch pattern (see Note)
  • Two 1 1/2-pound goose legs (see Note)
  • 7 ounces diced andouille sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 4 jalapeños, finely diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon each of chopped oregano, thyme and sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry Riesling
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until the mixture turns a rich, dark brown, 11/2 hours. Transfer the roux to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the breasts, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 7 minutes. Pour off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Turn the breasts and brown the other side, 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the goose legs.

  3. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the reserved 2 tablespoons of goose fat. Add the andouille, garlic, celery, jalapeños, onion and bell pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, oregano, thyme, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, 2 minutes. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the goose parts and simmer over low heat, skimming occasionally, until the goose is tender, 11/2 hours. Transfer the goose to the baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

  4. Whisk in 1 cup of the hot gumbo liquid into the cold roux. Whisk this mixture into the gumbo and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer the gumbo over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the goose meat to the gumbo and bring to a simmer. Add the scallions and parsley, season with salt and black pepper and serve.


Goose parts are available from Schiltz Foods (roastgoose.com).

Published November 2006

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