Friday

[cooking] Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck...

I finally got around to cooking the duck this week and now the entire downstairs has a greasy duck smell that won't go away.

Here's what I wanted from the 5.78lb duck:

1. Roasted duck for dinner
2. Leftover duck meat used in an imaginative way
3. Duck stock made from duck carcass
4. Rendered duck fat

I really can't think of what else I might be able to squeeze out of the poor animal. The crisp roast duck was nummy but a complete nightmare to cook. I had to use my dreaded largest roasting pan which I hate to use because it's larger than my sink and takes HOURS to clean thoroughly. The smoke alarm went off at least six times during the three hours of fatty, splatty, smokey cooking. As if maneuvering a white hot roasting pan and draining/turning and fatty, splatty duck isn't hard enough, imagine doing it while listening to "WHEET! WHEET! Fire! Fire! WHEET! WHEET! Fire! Fire!"

The next day, I stripped all the meat that I could from the carcass. I read some imaginative recipes for leftover duck meat online and I think I'm going to go with duck dumplings. The dumplings I'm thinking of are called mandoo in Korean.

(ASIDE: If I were to write a detective novel, I'm going to name my main character Duck Mandoo. I just like the way it sounds. "It's Duck Mandoo!" "Oh, Duck Mandoo, thank God you're here!" "Mr. Mandoo? You're table is ready." My imagination took it several slapstick levels further where someone shouts "Duck!" to him and he turns, but they really meant "Get down!" Then he's out at a club doing his sleuthing thing and someone shouts "Get down!" and he ducks but everyone else starts to boogie. Which leads to him having an informant on the street called Boogie Daze. And on and on and on to crazyville...)

So I'll put the duck meat in a blender with shallots and spices and whatnot to make the filling for the mandoo- the duck mandoo. Tee hee, I can't stop saying it.

The duck stock was yet another three-hour chore that added an extra coating of flavorlicious smell to the house. The good news is that I was able to get at least two quarts of dark stock. I had been looking for a chinois expressly for making stock and found one at Board & Basket... for $113.00. OMFG@($^%@!!! No freaking way was I going to spend that much. Here's what I do when I want something but can't find it anywhere: I go to Dan & Whit's in Norwich.

You know their saying: If we don't have it, you don't need it. IT'S NOT A LIE. They have never failed me. I was there looking at the strainers and asked one of the old guys "Do you have a fine-mesh, cone-shaped strainer, also called a sheen-wah?" He looked at me like, "Really? You really need a... whatever you just said?" He says to me, "No. Get that strainer and line it with cheesecloth. If you want something finer, use a coffee filter." ... I stood there. I stood there trying not to slap my forehead. I got the $7 strainer and a $3 package of cheesecloth.

At home, I made the stock. I ran the hot liquid through sixteen layers of cheesecloth. This kept out all the little bits and pieces but it still looks like there's sediment. I'm waiting for the stock to cool in the fridge so that I can easily remove the hard layer of fat on top, then I'll reheat the leftover stock and pass it through coffee filters.

And with the fat, I shall reheat it to whatever hotness it needs to be to evaporate any water, then I'll keep the fat in a little jar (like I keep bacon fat) to cook with.

You know what, I get the feeling that the duck has made me it's little bitch. I really don't feel like I've won.

2 comments:

Shelby said...

that duck totally made mandoo outta YOU!

Anonymous said...

Here is a great recipe for duck meat.

1 full Duck breast (about 10 oz.)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
dash chili powder or finely crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Use very sharp knife and score skin down to flesh. In cup, mix together cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, salt and pepper. Rub mixture into both sides of duck.

Heat in small, heavy bottomed (preferably cast iron) skillet over medium heat 1 minute. Add duck breast, skin side down, and cook over medium heat until skin is well browned, 5 minutes. Flip over and cook second side until flesh is firm to the touch, 3-5 minutes. Meat should be done to medium rare stage.
Remove duck from skillet. Using sharp knife, slice duck 1/8 inch thick and arrange slices on platter. Reheat chutney, if necessary, and serve on the side.