| 1 Comment

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Duck, Duck, Turkey…ermm I mean Duck – updated

Print Friendly

Another Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone, Jenn and I spending a good deal of it offline. I am currently catching up on all the tweets and twitpics. It is amazing how many tweeps I follow who cooked dishes, a good number of desserts, from scratch. Many prepared new takes on Thanskgiving turkey. Everyone tried new recipes, asked each other for advice, and produced some mouthwatering results.

I listed what I am thankful for this year in a comment to Rebecca’s (@bitofmomsense) heartwarming blog post about giving thanks. Here are two additions. I am thankful for the food community I am part of and the readers who read this blog.

That said, here is what we cooked up.

Our feast celebrated Jenn’s sister’s birthday. This year, Thanksgiving Sunday fell on October 10, 2010, 10/10/10 (“42” in binary, but we’re not going there…).

The birthday gal, the “perfect” 10, requested duck in lieu of turkey, so we found ourselves with $60 worth of duck from Saslove’s.

Saslove's

Saslove’s

Brome Lake Duck

Brome Lake Duck

2.6 kg or 5.8 lb's of duck goodness

2.6 kg or 5.8 lb’s of duck goodness

Pair of moulard duck breasts

Pair of moulard duck breasts

Duck is rather versatile. With a little effort, nothing goes to waste.

Since, we were contributing dishes to Jenn’s mom’s menu, we opted not to roast the duck whole. Instead, we jointed the bird, making confit with the legs, seared duck breasts, and Asian duck stock with the carcass (supplemented with turkey wings).

Whole Duck

Whole Duck

Carcasse in Stock Pot

Carcasse in Stock Pot

Skin and Fat to Render

Skin and Fat to Render

Jointed

Jointed

Moulard duck breasts

Moulard duck breasts

By the way, you know you’re done rendering duck fat when the skin turns into scratchings (aka: duck rinds). Salted, they are a very guilty cook’s treat.

Confit

Classic Duck Confit

Classic Duck Confit

The confit turned out a tad salty, so we will have to adjust exposure and quantity of salt cure…

Dry Cured with juniper, thyme, black pepper

Dry Cured with juniper, thyme, black pepper

After curing, the legs were braised for 3 hours in rendered duck fat. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, so could not experiment with a brined preparation.

The confit’ed legs were reheated to serve and went well with rice. Diners treated them like Chinese cured duck, something Jenn and I want to attempt in the future.

Seared Duck Breasts

Seared Duck Breast with Cranberry Gastrique

Seared Duck Breast with Cranberry Gastrique

Our friend and fellow Ottawa food blogger, Jodi (@simplyfresh) is presently cooking her way through a number of cookbooks, demonstrating techniques and encouraging discussion. I’m making my way through James Peterson’s Sauces.

Sauces

Sauces

We followed Peterson’s method for searing duck breast and made an accompanying cranberry sauce, seasoned with gastrique.

Moulard Duck Breasts, cross hatched

Moulard Duck Breasts, cross hatched

Brome Lake Duck Breasts, cross hatched

Brome Lake Duck Breasts, cross hatched

Our lessons learned:

  • Making gastrique is fun: bring 1/2 cup granulated sugar to colour, add 1/2 cup vinegar, stand back, bring to a simmer to cook out raw vinegar flavour

    Gastrique

    Gastrique

  • Do not waste good fond. Make an integral sauce.
    Sauce reducing with cranberries and concentrated duck stock

    Sauce reducing with cranberries and concentrated duck stock

  • When searing duck breast in a cast iron pan or skillet, 2-4 minutes skin side down will give you the required crisped skin. Finishing it in a preheated oven will give you finer control on internal doneness. Use a probe thermometer and remember the breast will continue to cook a little when resting.

Suffice it to say, we slightly over cooked the duck breasts.

Roasted Potatoes
Having duck fat reserves from a prior confit session (that time goose legs), we par boiled some mini-potatoes and roasted them in duck fat

One batch

One batch

Another

Another

The potatoes were seasoned with kosher salt.

Consomme
Stock-wise, we followed an Asian method. We brought the poultry in the stock pot up to a simmer and dumped the boiling liquid. We washed the bones and returned them to the stock pot with fresh water. To the pot, we added whole black pepper corns, a large uncured onion, and some old leek. This, we let gently simmer for 5 hours.

Strained and De-Fatted

Strained and De-Fatted

It became a clear consomme I thought Jenn’s mom would use as a soup base. Instead, she heated it through and served the consomme as is.

Everything went over a storm! Another Thanksgiving, survived!

Update: Here’s the tutorial I followed for jointing the duck

Filed in: recipes
Tags: ,

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.

Comments

Paula

OMG, I was tired just reading this post. Such a lot of work you and Jenn put into this Thanksgiving Birthday meal. The end result looked wonderful. Your photos of the process are great.
I have to say, I truly admire you and many others who put your heart and soul into your culinary work, not to mention your blogs.
Thank you for sharing, glad it was a successful Thanksgiving.

Leave A Comment

*