Monday, July 6, 2009

everday DUCK

Every few weeks or so, if I've had the afternoon at home, I like to poach a duck for Sunday dinner. This is not a treat, it is everyday duck. And, from the poaching I get > 5 meals (> 20 portions) which certainly makes it economical.

#1 Poached Duck

  • For poaching the whole duck, I have many variations depending on the season: bay leaves, mirepoix (2 parts onion, 1 part carrot, 1 part celery) peppercorns and/or ... white wine, lemons, oranges, fresh ginger root, juniper berries, quatre epice ... endless options
  • To serve on the Sunday, I remove the duck from the stock, rest, and remove the 2 breasts
  • Slice the breasts to serve with a variety of vegetables ( a favourite is sweet potato / kumara mash or souffle) depending on the flavours of the stock base - or - sliced in a composed salad
#2 Stock
  • After I've removed the duck, I strain the stock twice (don't season until finished dish)
  • Soups (of many varieties) are the obvious first choice for a second duck dish using the stock as a base
  • Other uses for stock: sauces, reduce/enrich for demiglace, add to other dishes for flavour

#3 Duck Fat

  • Treasure this prize: remove the fat from the top of the stock (easiest after refrigerating overnight) - rendering for its best
  • Duck fat makes the best @ home potato dishes, hand cut chips, roesti and more - I've even enriched my mash with a little
  • Or use the duck fat with some remaining meat for confit

#4 Legs Thighs and Wings

  • Here are a few options for the next cut of meat - try classic confit or add directly to cassoulet
  • Make a ragu (with seasonal options - for winter try fennel and orange)
  • My most constant companion is risotto (with peas, with sweet potato, with onions, with mushrooms, with truffles ...)

#5 Remove remaining meat from the bones

Add remaining shredded meat from the carcass, as well as any leg, thigh or wing meat that is left over to many dishes such as pasta sauce (add a vegetable or two, onions and zucchini/squash for example), pasta filling, dumplings, risotto (maybe add another earthy flavour like mushroom), layered in Potatoes Anna, upmarket quesadillas, duck and noodle salad, duck fried rice, add duck to lentils (cooked in duck stock), try duck in hash browns ... limitless combinations limited only by your imagination

#6 Repeat Stock

On the first, second or third day, remove all the meat from the bones, using fresh mirepoix, roast the vegetables and bones, and make additional stock with water (and/or some wine). Be easy on yourself with stock, no need to remove onion skins, or peel carrots - just rough chop. Tomato peelings are another stockpot addition which will enhance flavour. This second stock may need to be reduced and will be lighter in flavour.

Now I'm not proposing you eat duck every day for a week! Refrigerate, freeze, and otherwise (safely) preserve the duck meat, stock, and fat for later use. My hint for freezing stock is put in icecube trays and remove for portion size convenience.


  1. Yum, I love duck, but have never made it at home. Perhaps I'll try this!

  2. wow...this is many uses from one small bird. Makes one feel like getting back to the land....and certainly keeping one's footprint much smaller eh?

  3. OOh what great duck tips! Definitely want to give some of these cooking suggestions a go, thanks for sharing.

  4. Grand Idea I'm definitely will give it a try!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    Join post your comments

    Have a wondreful Day ~

  5. I really like this one- I love duck :-) @tdiemco