My husband has given me many good food ideas. He suggested putting candied orange peel in Sticky Toffee Pudding and using slow oven roasted tomatoes in Tomato Pie and he asked me to make him duck and dumplings. All of these ideas turned out to be excellent. I decided to make the duck and dumplings with Cajun style seasonings, because duck has a strong flavour that goes well with these spices. Also, the duck provided fat for the roux. Yum. I actually only made this once before I gave up gluten. Last month, I finally figured out how to make chicken and gluten-free dumplings. I was not sure how the gluten-free dumplings would work with the duck fat instead of lard but, I made them for my friends Saul and Paul the other night and they were fabulous! I will include the recipes for both gluten-free and traditional dumplings here.
This recipe requires that you have a roasted duck and some home-made chicken or duck bone stock. Click on the links for directions. If that sounds too involved for you, and you live near a Chinatown, pick up a roasted duck, tear off the meat to use in the stew and make a stock from the bones. You could also cook a duck breast and use chicken stock. Either way, if you don’t roast your own duck, you’ll have to get some duck fat from a fancy butcher or substitute with butter.
CAJUN DUCK AND DUMPLINGS
FOR THE STEW
- 2 Tablespoons duck fat (or butter)
- 2 Tablespoons flour (I used bob’s red mill all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix)
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a generous pinch each of dry basil, dry oregano, dry thyme and allspice
- tabasco sauce to taste
- a tiny splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 carrots sliced
- dumpling dough, gluten-free or not (recipes below)
- 2 cups cooked duck meat sliced or cubed (You could do one cup duck and one cup chicken if you like)
- 6 cups chicken or duck stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- minced parsley for garnish
- Place the minced celery, onion, scallion, garlic and the salt in a bowl next to the stove. Heat the duck fat or butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. When the fat is very hot sprinkle in the flour and whisk to break up any lumps.
- Stir the mixture almost continuously, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. It helps if you have a spatula edged spoon. The mixture will slowly turn golden and then (more rapidly) a rich dark brown.
- As soon as the roux has turned a nice dark colour add the minced vegetables and salt all at once. Stir vigerously, scraping the bottom of the pan. For a moment there will not be enough liquid and all of the roux will clump up around the raw vegetables. Then, the salt will help the vegetables release their liquid which will mix with the roux and coat the vegetables in a tick shiny brown sauce. This smells very good.
- Add the dry spices, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and continue cooking the vegetables until they are just tender.
- Add the sliced carrots and stock to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. This is a good time to taste the stew and add salt and pepper as needed. You can prep the dumpling dough while you wait for the broth to boil.
- When the broth is boiling gently, dip a tablespoon in to the hot broth and then use it to scoop out a heaping spoonful of dumpling dough. Drop the dumpling into the broth and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the dumplings are shiny and cooked all the way through.
- Throw the duck meat into the stew for the last 5 minutes of the dumpling cooking time so that it gets heated.
- Serve garnished with chopped parsley. It goes well with collard greens, but I skip the sausage because this meal is plenty meaty without it.
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallions or snipped chives
- 3 tablespoons of cold Crisco
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Add the minced chives or scallions
- Cut the shortening in to the flour until the fat is the size of peas.
- Add the 1/2 cup milk and stir with a wooden spoon, adding additional tablespoons of milk if needed to make a sticky dough.
adapted from a gluten-free buttermilk biscuit recipe by Jeanne at The Art Of Gluten-Free Baking from a recipe by Lorna Yee
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All- Purpose Flour Mix
- 1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
- 1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
- 1 C (120g) tapioca flour
- 1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
- 2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
- 2 C (280g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix, sifted
- 2 TBL baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 TBL (60g; 2 oz) butter, cold
- 4 TBL (60g; 2 oz) duck fat, leaf lard or shortening, cold
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (180ml) (or milk mixed w/3/4 tsp of vinegar)
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the butter and lard, and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the fat resembles coarse, pea-size clumps.
- Stir in the buttermilk. If needed, add a bit extra to get a sticky dough.