One Duck, Three Dishes

Duck Stew

Stewed duck (Kitchen Sense recipe)

Stewed duck (Kitchen Sense recipe)

Kelsy had a real treat for us yesterday… a duck! We don’t have duck often because, well, at about $25 a head we just can’t afford it. But for a special treat, you can’t beat duck. Normally we roast ducks ala The Hungry Mouse’s (Hello Crispy Skin) method which is amazing, but Kelsy decided to try something new this time.

Kelsy used the recipe from Mitchell Davis’s Kitchen Sense. While sometimes his recipes are too sweet for our taste and need to be modified a bit to be GAPS Legal, this book is great. Like the classic 1975 Joy of Cooking, he gives instructions that don’t assume previous cooking knowledge. That’s something I always appreciate, having grown up cooking little more than boiled pasta, pancakes, and fried eggs.

Rendering the fat from duck skin

Rendering the fat from duck skin

The trickiest part of this recipe was that it requires cutting up the bird and skinning it. It was well worth the trouble. The stew made the house smell incredible! The kids were asking for dinner the whole time it cooked, maybe next time duck stew will have to simmer while the kids are out of the house. Some roasted cauliflower, our usual standby, complimented it nicely.

Kodiak isn’t usually a huge fan of duck – dark poultry isn’t her thing and she’s not a fan of a lot of fat. But she loved this dish. The meat was very tender and flavorful, the sauce was good, and the precious fat was not wasted on her. Here’s what Kelsy did with it:

Cracklin’s & Rendered Fat

Cracklin's (Duck Rinds)

Cracklin's (Duck Rinds)

Kitchen Sense also explains how to render the duck fat. Basically, you take a heavy pot over medium low heat and put the skin in it with 1/4 cup water. In 40 minutes, the water evaporates off, the fat melts, and the skin browns. Mitchell says to discard the skin, but if you’re out of the GAPS intro and on to the full diet (or not doing a special diet), you can eat the pieces of skin up like greasy chips. Then you strain the fat and jar it up for the fridge.

We love duck fat for roasting veggies in and for using in recipes that call for fat. It makes the best mayonnaise!

Duck Stock

Duck stock in the crock pot

Duck stock in the crock pot

Finally, of course there is always stock. This time it’s just the bones covered in water in the crock pot. It’s also great to do it on the stove and some salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, onion, and veggies like carrots, celery, and parsley. If you add carrots and celery, avoid the tops as they can make your stock go bitter.

I’d say that spendy bird was well worth every penny!

This post is part of Fat Tuesday, Simple Lives Thursday.

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