Archive for the ‘Soups & Stews’ Category

Duck and Oyster Gumbo

Duck and Oyster Gumbo
(serves 8 – 10)

2 wild ducks (2½ to 3 lbs. each), quartered
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. herbes de Provence
1 cup rendered duck fat or lard (or vegetable oil if you must)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb. andouille sausage, diced
½ lb. smoked pork sausage, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 qts. chicken or duck stock
2 cups oyster liquor
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. Creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 cups okra, diced (frozen works fine)
3 cups oysters
Tabasco sauce
1 quart cooked jasmine rice
½ cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Liberally season the ducks with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Slowly roast in preheated oven until most of the fat has rendered out and the skin is nice and crispy, about 2 hours. Remove the ducks from the oven, and reserve the fat. Once cool, pick all the meat and skin from the ducks, and cut into roughly 1½-inch pieces. Reserve.

To make the roux, heat 1 cup of reserved duck fat (or lard) in a pot over medium heat, add the flour, and allow it to slowly cook to a light golden brown. This should take about ½ hour. Adjust heat if necessary (if cooking too fast) and allow the roux to further brown, stirring often, until it resembles the color of milk chocolate. This should take approximately another 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, and cook until the roux takes on a deep dark chocolate color. This should take another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the duck, celery, sausages, and garlic, and cook to combine for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock, oyster liquor, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, and okra, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until flavors marry, occasionally skimming the fat that rises to the top, about 1½ hours.

Add the oysters, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season the gumbo to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Serve over rice in a large flat soup bowl, and garnish with chopped green onions.

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Seafood Cioppino Stew with Flat Bread

Photo and recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Photo and recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks


1 lb bag of seafood mix (muscles, calamari, octopus, clams, crab and shrimp.)

14.5 oz can of  Diced Tomatoes

1/4 cup of Tomato Sauce

2  cups of chopped red and green bell peppers

2  chopped stalk of celery

1 minced clove of garlic (Use as much or as less as you prefer!)

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and basil

2 cups vegetable or seafood stock (can substitute with water and 1 tablespoon of Clam Base, Lobster Base or Vegetable cooking Base) The onions will give a lot of water to your stew so be careful on the amount of stock or it becomes more like a soup rather than a stew!


Bring stock to a low simmer and add all chopped vegetables, diced tomatoes, sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and allow to cook until almost tender, add calamari and octopus and cook for until almost tender, then add the rest of the seafood last, cook only about 5 minutes on low heat!

Serve with Flat Bread.

We used Pillsbury Pizza Dough! Spray pan, preheat oven to 325. Flatten out dough and cut in to oblong shaped bread and place in pan. Spray down with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until golden brown! Very tasty!


Catfish Stew

(Photos by Margaret Houston)

(Photo by Margaret Houston)


3 slices smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. paprika
¼ tsp. pinch celery seed
1 bay leaf
A pinch of sugar
¼ cup Texas Pete hot sauce
2 lb. catfish filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste


Add bacon to a stewpot over medium heat and cook until rendered and crisp. Then add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and continue to cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, the next 6 ingredients, and 1½ cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then add a few pieces of catfish and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until both catfish and vegetables are very tender. Add the rest of the catfish, and continue to cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is flaky. Season with salt and pepper, and serve in bowls over rice.

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Squash and Potato Soup

This is an awesome quick soup to make. I like to save the smaller ends of yellow squash when frying the large disc sizes. I like to grab some hash browns to act as a noodle in this little soup. Chop up a sweet onion. Finely chop some herbs such as basil and cilantro. Butter. Got some left over meat in the fridge? Works great to add a little pulled chicken, pulled pork, or pulled beef to create an awesome stock. Whole Wheat Crackers really work on this one….

Photo by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Photo by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Tortellini Primavera Soup


2 Cartons (32 oz each) Chicken Broth

1 pkg (10 oz) julienned carrots

1 pkg (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 cup frozen peas (about 4 oz)

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or chopped green onions (tops and stems)

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add carrots, tortellini, peas and seasoning. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 7 to 9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Top with basil.

Note: We found this recipe in Taste of Home Food Magazine and what a treat when you are in a hurry but want a delicious bowl of soup!

Goulash for Pot Luck!


Photo and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

Photo and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
2 large sweet onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper
3 cups beef broth
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 12 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
3 bay leaves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cups pasta, uncooked (We prefer Penne)


In a Dutch oven, sauté the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sautéing. Spoon off any grease and add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, salt, pepper and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the pasta, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

You can  cut this recipe in half and feed 4 to 6 easily with seconds! This is one of our favorite Pot Luck dinners to make!


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