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Cooking At Home & Shopping => Cooking at Home or with friends => Topic started by: mikeamor on December 23, 2009, 11:59:31 PM

Title: Using Up the Duck
Post by: mikeamor on December 23, 2009, 11:59:31 PM
I broke down 2 ducks this evening with the intention of searing the breasts and making a black fig and port reduction to go with them for Christmas Eve dinner. 
I've saved the legs and thighs to play with a confit.
Now I have about 4 pounds of "garbage" (backs, necks, wings, organs, bones) that I am thinking about using for a stock.
I have not cooked many ducks this way and I am looking for some good ideas for the stock and rendered fat ???

Merry Everything!
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Loundry on December 24, 2009, 08:01:47 AM
As far as the fat goes, I would use it in a great many number of places.  The classic choice is to fry potatoes in the duck fat for the world's awesomest, most lip-smackingistly-delicious potatoes.  But if I had duck fat, I would experiment in where to put it.  I would simply replace it for other fat when sauteeing vegetables, for bacon fat in making lard, etc.  I can't believe that replacing any fat or oil with duck fat in any recipe would be a detriment to the overall flavor.  In fact, I believe it would enhance each and every thing it touched.  But I haven't had duck fat in a long time.

As far as the bones, backs, and wings go, I think that stock is the obvious and right choice.  I would try and strip every bit of skin and fat from the pieces and render them separately if they look fatty.

As far as the livers go, freeze them and save them until you have enough livers to make a mousse.

As far as the other organs go, dog food.

But those are my heavily biased and grossly ignorant suggestions.  The one time I tried to make confit, the lackluster duck didn't yield enough duck fat to cover both legs in the crock.  I had to supplement with all the lard I had, but that just didn't feel right.  Bummer.  A duck which only has a little bit of fat is an unfit duck.  They should put a stamp on the duck indicating fat weight.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: HaagenDazs on December 24, 2009, 09:22:29 AM
You will have to buy extra fat to make confit, but you can substitute with bacon and/or olive oil if you're running just a tad short.  In sticking with Loundry's potatoes & duck fat dishes, I LOVE potatoes anna made with duck fat.

The stock can be used in all kinds of things just like a beef or veal stock.  It will be a little stronger than chicken stock, but not by too much.  Use it for a risotto with mushrooms and duck pieces/parts. 

Sounds like a good dinner!
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Jmolinari on December 24, 2009, 10:05:26 AM
You can also confit duck legs under vacuum. Basically put the legs in a vac bag, add a couple tablespoons of fat, and vacuum pack. The fat will envelop the legs, as though they were submerged in it. Then you can put them in a large pot of water, in an oven set at like 180 for 8 or 9 hours.

Preceed this with the normal confit cure of salt and thyme. Save a LOT on fat used.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Loundry on December 24, 2009, 11:58:24 AM
You can also confit duck legs under vacuum. Basically put the legs in a vac bag, add a couple tablespoons of fat, and vacuum pack. The fat will envelop the legs, as though they were submerged in it. Then you can put them in a large pot of water, in an oven set at like 180 for 8 or 9 hours.

Preceed this with the normal confit cure of salt and thyme. Save a LOT on fat used.

That's a great idea.  It might could be improved by using a slow cooker instead of an oven.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Jmolinari on December 24, 2009, 12:24:00 PM
You can also confit duck legs under vacuum. Basically put the legs in a vac bag, add a couple tablespoons of fat, and vacuum pack. The fat will envelop the legs, as though they were submerged in it. Then you can put them in a large pot of water, in an oven set at like 180 for 8 or 9 hours.

Preceed this with the normal confit cure of salt and thyme. Save a LOT on fat used.

That's a great idea.  It might could be improved by using a slow cooker instead of an oven.

sure, that would work. i dunno what temp a slow cooker cook at though.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: HaagenDazs on December 24, 2009, 02:00:57 PM
That's a good idea.  To add a suggestion, be sure to at the very least refrigerate or partially freeze the duck and the fat in the bag before you seal things or else you're likely to suck the fat right out of the bag and into the sealing area which more often than not = no seal.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: mikeamor on December 27, 2009, 06:03:07 PM
Fried some red potatoes in some of the duck fat with a bit of onion, salt and pepper for breakfast this morning.
Never had tried that before.
Oh... my... god...
Amazing.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Foodgeek on December 27, 2009, 06:37:02 PM
Just to add my 2 cents here:

When I buy a duck, I usually carve off the breasts for searing at a later time and then I carve up the rest of the duck and jam it all into the pot that I'm going to make confit in. I take extra skin and lay it on top of the neck piece and other uncovered pieces and make sure I have enough fat to submerge everything. If I don't have duck fat from the last rendering, I substitute plain lard or vegetable oil or any fat that isn't going to add too much flavor, thereby taking away from the duck flavor. Sometimes chicken fat will do.

I then slow roast the duck for a few hours in the fat, take it out and let it cool, then I get to cleaning. I separate bones, meat and skin into 3 piles. I put the meat into whatever container I'm using and cover it up with all the rendered fat, plus whatever extra fat I get from making cracklings with the skin and chuck that into the fridge until I feel like using it. The clean bones go into a stock pot where I let them brown for a minute, add veggies and water and make stock. This time I happened to have some chicken bones at the same time, so now I have some extra rich stock. I'm thinking of making french onion soup with it.

I use the cracklings in place of croutons on a salad, or I just eat handfuls of them. I pretty much use everything but the quack whenever I buy a duck, because it's a pretty valuable animal. Oh, and the organs, except for the liver, get confited. Tenders 'em right up. The liver gets a quick sear and it's cook's treat time!
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Foodgeek on December 28, 2009, 06:00:44 AM
Just in case anyone was wondering, french onion soup made with duck stock doesn't suck. It doesn't suck at all.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Loundry on December 28, 2009, 07:25:07 AM
FoodGeek, you rock!Your ideas are inspiring and I look forward to confit, duck cracklins, and duck stock.  I just need to get my big freezer fixed so that I can turn the breasts into duck ham / duck prosciutto.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: mikeamor on December 28, 2009, 12:48:29 PM
The cracklings did not make it 10 feet from the oven before disappearing.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: mikeamor on January 16, 2010, 08:12:24 AM
Further demise of the duck...

The legs and thighs ended up being seared, braised and in a ragout of onion, tomato, wine and mushrooms and then tossed with bigoli, a hearty whole wheat pasta extruded using a meat grinder.  It reminded me more of a stew than a pasta dish.  This is a Mario Batali recipe you can get on the Food Network site  <here>  (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bigoli-with-duck-ragu-recipe2/index.html) and while the bigoli is a lot of work it is surprisingly good and worth the effort.

The skins from the legs and thighs were baked in a 250 degree oven to render their fat.  When all the fat was rendered they were dusted with onion powder, garlic powder and kosher salt and then baked just a little longer.  Holy s**t, this stuff is addictive!

The last of Mr. Duck's  remains were respectfully placed in a pot with a mirepoix, a bouquet garni of peppercorns, juniper berries and herbs de Provence and then simmered all day to produce a rich stock which has been bagged in 1 pint portions and frozen. The bits of meat rendered from the bones are going into some duck and fermented black bean dumplings, I think...

Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Melomom on January 19, 2010, 12:33:36 PM
Duck confit from the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/dining/20appe.html?hpw

Sorry to be ignorant, can one buy just duck legs?  Where?
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: HaagenDazs on January 19, 2010, 02:11:26 PM
Duck confit from the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/dining/20appe.html?hpw

Sorry to be ignorant, can one buy just duck legs?  Where?

They have tons of them at DeKalb Farmer's Market.  They are leg quarters including the thigh.  I could be mistaken, but you can probably find some at some Asian markets or Buford Hwy.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Jmolinari on January 19, 2010, 02:22:09 PM
Duck confit from the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/dining/20appe.html?hpw

Sorry to be ignorant, can one buy just duck legs?  Where?

They have tons of them at DeKalb Farmer's Market.  They are leg quarters including the thigh.  I could be mistaken, but you can probably find some at some Asian markets or Buford Hwy.

Oddly enough, i have not seen them at the asian markets. Whole ducks only is what i've seen.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: HaagenDazs on January 19, 2010, 02:29:43 PM
And when you say "whole ducks" there is no mincing words there.  I always enjoy scaring the wife with a duck - head and feet attached.  ::)
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Loundry on March 04, 2010, 08:28:21 AM
And when you say "whole ducks" there is no mincing words there.  I always enjoy scaring the wife with a duck - head and feet attached.  ::)

Do you save the duck feet for stock, much like one would use chicken feet in chicken stock?  The chicken feet are high in collagen, and I can't imagine that duck feet would be too much different.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 04, 2010, 08:43:56 AM
Do you save the duck feet for stock, much like one would use chicken feet in chicken stock?  The chicken feet are high in collagen, and I can't imagine that duck feet would be too much different.

Absolutely.
Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: LizR on June 01, 2011, 01:27:38 PM
So, I have a frozen duck. I could probably let it stay frozen for a few months until things are less beastly hot. But if someone has a good idea of a hot weather duck recipe, I'm all ears.

Title: Re: Using Up the Duck
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 01, 2011, 01:39:15 PM
So, I have a frozen duck. I could probably let it stay frozen for a few months until things are less beastly hot. But if someone has a good idea of a hot weather duck recipe, I'm all ears.   


I would defrost the duck on your birthday today and cook it tomorrow.  Treat it like a chicken but split out the breast that you can put on the Egg or the grill (or in the oven) a little later then you would put on the legs and thighs.  Save the rest of the carcass for a nice deep stock later on, render off as much of the fat for use on potatoes and veggies.  I don't ALWAYS cook duck breasts till their pink perfection, sometimes I like the duck done a bit more but not dried out.  You have the skilz Liz.

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