Recipe: Mobile Bay Gumbo

I was born on the shores of Mobile Bay and I have spent more than 30 years living, hunting, fishing, cooking and most importantly eating beside its lapping waves.  This beautiful and historic body of water provides a bounty of food especially seafood and wild game.  This particular gumbo uses proteins found in or around Mobile Bay – duck, shrimp, oysters and flounder.  Dig it!

Mobile Bay Gumbo
Recipe Type: Soup, Main
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Serves: 4-8
  • 4 duck breasts
  • Olive oil (if needed)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 bunch celery, diced
  • 3 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh okra, sliced
  • 1 gallon seafood stock (give or take)
  • 1 TBL oregano
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 TBL thyme
  • Salt, pepper and/or Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 2 pounds flounder filets, 1″ diced
  • 2 pounds peeled shrimp
  • 2 pints oysters (with liquid)
  • Worcestershire Sauce to taste
  • Louisiana hot sauce to taste
  1. Lightly season the duck breasts and put skin-side down in a heated gumbo pot and cook until fat is rendered and skin is crispy as all get out, roughly 7 minutes. Remove the duck meat but leave that glorious fat.
  2. Add olive oil (if needed) so that you have 1/2 cup of fat in the pot and then add the flour, season to taste and cook the roux until the color of chocolate (about 15 to 20 minutes) stirring constantly.
  3. Add the onions, celery and peppers and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, okra and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add the herbs and season to taste.
  6. Dice the duck and add to the gumbo. Cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the fish and cook for five minutes.
  8. Add the oysters and cook for three minutes.
  9. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes.
  10. Season to taste with Worcestershire Sauce and Louisiana hot sauce.
  11. Serve over rice.

Photo courtesy of Lynne Brown


If you can’t find flounder then sheepshead or even catfish will do.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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