Monday, April 25, 2011

Duck on the wild side

Being in a culinary arts program is starting to have some perks. A friend got some wild ducks from a hunter friend, but didn't know how to cook them. So, I got invited over as guest chef. The ducks were nice birds, already cleaned and ready to go - unless you wanted the livers. Gone. Just as well, since you can't make paté and age it in 90 minutes.

Boning a duck is just like boning a chicken, except that the wishbone is in a slightly different place and the bones are placed slightly differently. No problem making four nice magrets (duck breasts, skin on), fast confit for the thighs and drumsticks and stock with the carcasses.

Legs and thighs simmer in oil, orange peel and garlic on low heat. Carcass in stock pot with mirepoix.

Magret prepped, skin scored and tenders in refrigerator ready to go.

Tenders first, with garlic, a bit of sesame oil, and a fine julienne of leeks.

Take some stock and start reducing it at high heat with some red wine.

Then magrets, nice sear, hold in oven, deglaze with reduced stock, fresh rosemary, add salt, add butter, taste, more salt, ready!

Slice duck breasts and stack. Nice, medium rare wild duck; moist, tender and not gamy. Drizzle sauce over slices, garnish with quick confit and duck tenders with leeks. Rush to table.

That was an Easter dinner I'll remember for a long time. My only regret was that the hunter wasn't there to enjoy his duck three ways and get inspired to supply me with some more birds for future feasts.

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