Thursday, February 2, 2012

Duck aspic

A while ago we got a frozen duck. A whole duck that I did not intend to roast whole, as that results in dried out breast meat or undercooked leg meat. There is not much meat on a duck otherwise, so destroying half of it was not an ideal option. Luckily, I have a lot of experience in boning/carving/dissecting birds from my childhood, when my family kep about 300 chickens, which we processed ourselves for the buyers. Yes, I handled super-sharp boning knives at the age of 10. It was really no problem.
To avoid wasting the rest of the carcass, I made a duck aspic from the giblets and the carved bones. It turned out rather nice!

1 duck
1 onion
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves
0.25 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf

Lay the duck on its back and find the breast bone. Cut down along it, all the way to the ribcage, where the bone angles away from the center.

Find the outline of the thighs and cut around them. Twist them to dislocate the bones from the socket. Gently separate the legs from the body. Set aside.

Finish carving off the breast by following the ribcage with your knife until the meat separates. Set the breasts aside.

Chop up the rest of the bones+wings. Add to a pot along with the heart, gizzard and neck. Remove most of the skin and fat.

Add 4 cups of water, a quartered onion, the garlic, salt, black pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the liquid into another pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to about 1.5-2 cups.

Meanwhile, remove any remaining soft meat from the carcass and add to a glass dish. When the liquid reduced, pour onto the meat and refrigerate overnight, taking care not to move it around until it's set.

Serve with toast, spicy sauce, purple onions and lemon wedges. Yumm!

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