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Problems with duck fat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've recently made a duck dish and saved the skin and fat to render.  The skin seems to have young feathers about a quarter of an inch long.  Is there a fast way to remove it as I was hoping to get some cracklings during the process too.

post #2 of 10

It is much easier to remove any feathers when the bird is whole. Are they tiny? If so just render it without worry. They will crisp up with the skin and you will never notice.

post #3 of 10

Sounds like what are called pinfeathers; very small, newly emerged feathers. While they can be pulled from a whole bird, it was more traditional to just burn them off.

 

In any case, just go with Bishops advice. You'll never notice them once the skin has crisped up.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 10

The simplest way of gathering skin and fat from a duck is to cook it. I did it the 2nd of januari with this bird. I made parralel cuts in the skin and did the same in the other direction. It leaves you with a square pattern in the skin (don't cut in the meat!). In french this is called "quadrillier". The purpose is to release as much fat as possible and to crisp the skin. I simply put it in a 200°C hot oven. Within 20 minutes I poured off a total of around a cup of duckfat (in 2 times). It was then cooked untill done. You then can take the skin off, cut in slices and fry it in a pan to get those delicious cracklings.

 

http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv92/ChrisBelgium1/Eindejaar%202010/eend2.jpg

http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv92/ChrisBelgium1/Eindejaar%202010/eend3.jpg

 

My bird was duckbreast (magret) on the bone. When cooked I took the skin off and put some caramelized orangezeste on top. The sauce is my variation on canard à l'orange. I cooked fennel slices in the orangejuice first (fennel and oranges are perfect matches!). The reduced with sugar into a syrup, added chickenstock and reduced again. There's also a fresh panfried pearhalf Doyenné fried in butter. The fennelslices were cooled after cooking and then panfried in butter. There's also 2 hollowed and refilled small potatoes, simply mashed with truffle olive oil only.

http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv92/ChrisBelgium1/Eindejaar%202010/eend4.jpg


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 1/9/11 at 6:29am
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alright thanks for the great advice.  I was a little worried they might have an effect on the final product of the cracklings, but I'll be more at ease now.

post #6 of 10

As I know, duck has a lot of cholesterol. Is it really true?

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeMadeCook View Post

As I know, duck has a lot of cholesterol. Is it really true?

Not if they are taking Crestor talker.gif
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #8 of 10

As mentioned before, these feathers can be singed off with a brulee torch or over a gas stove. Most likely what you have are down feathers (think down pillow or down jacket). When we pluck ducks, we don't worry too much about getting all the down off. Just singe them off, or go ahead and render. Won't be a problem.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #9 of 10

The easiest way to get rid of these feathers is burning them off. However, it is convenient to do with the whole duck, but on with pieces. 

The belly rules the mind (Spanish proverb and catering Melbourne motto)
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The belly rules the mind (Spanish proverb and catering Melbourne motto)
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post #10 of 10

Chris 's method is same way I do it only be very careful when you are scoring the skin criss cross do not cut into the meat part. You need a good sharp thin bladed knife and a delicate hand. Also after scoring leave in fridge overnight to dry out unwrapped. The ducks I get have no feathers. They are from Canada.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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