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What to do (with 3 ducks) on black Friday when everyone else is shopping....

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I sure as **** wasn't waiting in line at Best Buy at 4am for a few bucks off a cheap electronic. Nope. Not me. SO...to prepare, I went to the Asian market and bought 3 ducks. (30$...cheap) I figured that would keep me busy today...and it did!



Ok, so what exactly can you do with 3 ducks?

well, first....you can butcher them up into breasts, legs, wings, and carcasses/fat/skin/necks. No to toot my own horn, but I'm getting **** good at butchering up some poultry fast.





you throw 2 breasts in a pan with s&p. (cold pan, fat side down, low heat, to render the fat, then blast it high, and flip it for a second)



Make a pan sauce with balsamic, cherrys (in a can) and some red wine.

Serve it with a salad of arugula, spanish onion, walnuts with a balsamic vinaigrette and a pear.

take the other 4 breasts...and use your new Foodsaver/Vacuum sealer and make sure you label them.


Now, these cheapo asian market ducks could have used a trip to Orange county for some breast enhancement...but, such is life, still better than perdue yellow chicken.

Ok, so now what? Well, you HAVE to make confit......
fill up a something/anyting with a layer of salt...throw the legs and some herbs/spices in

(throw some thyme or/and rosemary in too (not pictured))

then cover completely to the top with salt...and either put a pan over it, and some #10 cans of tomatoes for you cats in the know...or do like me and put a lid on it, and weight it down with leftover something or other that was in the fridge already.


well, that was easy, but unfortunately, you can't touch them for 24 hours. BUT...you'll need some duck fat for the next step in confit, so.........take all the skin from the carcasses....the back skin, and ESPECIALLY the flaps around the neck, etc. ALL of it. Throw it a pot....on low, and render out all that fat for about 3 hours.




Strain that mutha.


Now...you can opt to make a duck fat milkshake like I contemplated doing, or just throw it in the fridge on top of the legs for tomorrow.

Ok, so now you have all this goodness that you strained out....what do you do with it? Throw it away? Sacrilege. Take the skin and put it on a pan in a 375 until crispy brown.


This dish is called....

"you have no idea what you're missing, but probably will when your arteries clog"

For more info on Duck Confit...Free Culinary School.com: The cooking podcast and blog that teaches you how to cook like a professional chef! has a GREAT few articles and make sure you listen to Jacobs podcasts....very very helpful...and well....we share the same love for crispy duck skin.

so....NOW you're thinking...Phew...nothing left to do...oh...but you have carcasses...necks...wings...well. Throw them in a pot....cover with water....and bring to a simmer over low heat, throw some mirepoix and a sachet in and make some Duck STOCK!

Ok, I actually didn't take many pictures of this...Hey, I'm tired...and its only stock (but ****, made 8 quarts of duck stock....I thinking some risotto with duck stock topped with confit and a trip to the cardiologist is in order next week)


I always strain into a pot in the sink in an ice bath.


p.s. while you're waiting the ~5 hours for the stock and 3 hours of duck fat rendering, have a martini.


So that's it. Nothing else left on these here ducks but a bag of gizzards, and well, I'm not good enough to do something edible with them yet.....maybe next time.

To summarize. for 30$ and some salt and some cheap veggies we made....

an amazing Duck Breast dish...(with 4 more later in the freezer)
6 legs of confit
8 quarts of duck stock
1 buttload of cracklins
36oz of Duck fat

and best of all........you spent 0 dollars shopping....and probably had a far more relaxing day.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the duck confit.

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post #2 of 2
Wow. Yum! Can I make a suggestion?

Leave a couple of those legs out of the confit. Debone and de-skin them (and add the skin and fat to the render pot, of course). Add the bones to the stock.

Season and barely sear the leg meat, then add a quart of the stock and braise until nearly falling apart. Remove the meat, strain the liquid fine, and reduce until quite thick. Return the meat to the liquid just to warm, then shred it coarsely and toss with arugula. Season the sauce to taste and pour over breasts seared just as you suggested. Serve the breasts over or next to mashed potatoes into which you have crumbled some cracklings, toss the arugula-meat salad with some more cracklings, and serve.

Commander's Palace does a dish that's a lot like this. I think they use mashed turnips with honey instead of potatoes, and of course their version of "season" is in the Cajun-Creole New Orleans sort of vein. But it's pretty similar. Maybe there's wine in the sauce? I don't remember.

Oh... and I do hope you're planning to use that duck fat in pate. Otherwise I will have to fly out to California and kill you. :crazy:
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