Posts Tagged ‘duck’

I have an unusual abundance of free time this weekend and an abundance of food. Want to come over and help with that?

There’s a sexy french triple cream cows’ milk cheese and some crackers.

And I’m going to make duck soup.

My duck soup all starts with a good duck stock. And my duck stock starts with going out to dinner with my parents. See – my father loves Peking Duck. So a couple weeks ago, we went to Yang Ming and got one of the prettiest ducks I’ve ever seen. And, as usual, we asked for the carcass to take home.

Duck Soup

Duck Stock
Into a pot, add the frozen cooked duck carcass.

Add onion peels (from purple onions, if possible) and leek ends. Add the skins from a roasted garlic head. Add carrot peels and herb stems. (All the stuff I keep in a bag in my freezer for stock until I’m ready) If you have ginger peels, add them.

Add a couple dried hot red peppers* (rinsing the dust off). Add some cloves and maybe a star anise. Add a tablespoon or two of peppercorns (or fewer if you crush them first, but this is how I go through pepper fast enough to keep my supply fresh). If you have it, add some thyme, savory, rosemary, or anything in that family of herbs. Add a bay leaf or two. Add parsley.

One of the best things, which I rarely have, is parsley root with its leaves.

Add water up to cover, but not much over that.

And cook. You may choose to boil or simmer.

Then strain the stock.

Duck Soup
You know what I didn’t add to the stock? Salt. Because now that you’re tasting it you can add some (and how much will vary on your tastes and how salty the cooked duck skin ended up being) – and it’s going to need a generous quantity of salt and/or soy sauce (or gluten free tamari).

Then I like adding greens. Chinese spinach is good. I’ve pickled my own mustard greens for this (or you can buy them in a package pickled, but rinse them if you go this route). Kale is delicious.

You can add mushrooms, but I prefer them either cooked before adding or from dried. Fresh boiled mushrooms aren’t tasty to me.

You can adjust the seasoning – more ginger? a splash of vinegar?

Add noodles – I like the buckwheat soba noodles for this soup, but it’s flexible and gluten free noodles are also tasty.

And then right before serving – thinly slice fresh garlic and a fresh hot pepper (I aim for the kind that’s about a foot long, 3/4 inch diameter, and bright red or green), and toast them until just brown. Sprinkle the tops of each bowl right after portioning.

*I am still working on the dried red peppers I recieved as a free sample from Marx Foods. They’re only dusty because I’ve strung them on thread and have them hanging in my kitchen where they’re pretty and reminding me to keep using them.

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Last night was wonderful! Right before the end of work, I had a friend give me a ring to tell me he was in the area and would I like company.

So he came over and cooked for me.

So let me try to tell you what he cooked, oh man!

He took my lil ole thawed rabbit and cut it into sections. Then he dredged it in flour that had been generously seasoned with basil, smoked paprika, savory, thyme, and black pepper. Fried the rabbit. and then we set that aside.

Then we took leeks, which had been sliced in half lengthwise, cut into half-circles less than a quarter inch thick all the way up – white and green parts – and then thoroughly cleaned, and fried them in the oil, too. and then set aside.

Next, he put in a whole container of portobella mushrooms, which had been cleaned and the tips of the stems trimmed but whole, and then once that started releasing juice, he added some five or six cloves of garlic, chopped roughly, and the flesh only of one habanero pepper – and cooked until the garlic was just browning and luscious. He added the leeks, cooked for a little bit together, and then put them back in the bowl on the side.

Then he made gravy with more of the seasoned flour, oil, a bottle of Wood Chuck dark brown cider, and some chicken stock. He added the veggies back tot he gravy and then added the rabbit. We set that to simmer, on pretty high heat for simmering, while I made turmeric rice.

So good.

~*~

Other recent successful experiments in food have included:

Spinach of yum
Clean and remove stems from spinach.

Saute some garlic and a purple onion, sliced thinly but long enough to have texture, and once that is going decently, add all the spinach. When wilted, add unagi sauce. Crack two eggs into the pan – scramble all about.

Best Duck Soup Ever
I had gotten the duck carcass after the last time my family went out for peking duck, and it had been sitting in my freezer. Then I found a little shop where I got half a roast duck for $7 – including the head. Woot!

So I ate up the meat and skins and put the residue in my stock pot with the frozen carcass.

Then I added the base of a bunch of celery, the base of a head of napa cabbage, some carrots, a lot of garlic, some black peppercorns, a bay leaf, some five spice powder, and some red onion. And water. Cook cook cook. Then I removed some of the goodie so I could fit in even more water and make more broth because my pot was pretty packed with goodie. Cook cook cook. Let sit over night. Cook cook cook (boiling at least 20 minutes). Let cook enough to work with. Strain through cheesecloth.

Then I heated the stock back up to boiling and added baby bok choi, some long strands of oniony stuff from the asian grocery, and a bundle of buckwheat soba noodles.

It was so good – it didn’t even need the seasoning adjusted at all.

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