California Central Coast Recipes
Easy Rich Duck Stock
We love duck! Duck is usually available year round in the local food markets. Usually it is frozen, but unlike chicken because the meat is darker and a bit more oily, duck freezes much better than chicken with less loss of quality. We love roast duck, but let's face it, it is hard to eat and it seems like so much is wasted. So, our favorite way to prepare duck is Duck Ragu
and Duck Risotto
. Risottos need a broth base, and rather than using plain chicken stock we really want to use a good rich duck broth as a base.
With a little planning, a single duck can make our two favorite two entrees. We start first with the ragu. When we make the duck ragu, we always use a whole duck which we de-bone. After de-boning the duck, we are left with a nice duck carcass with plenty of meat attached and leftover trimming like wings tips. So instead of throwing the leftover carcass and trimmings away, while the ragu is cooking we make our duck stock. Later we will use some of the left- over ragu and the stock for a Duck Risotto.
The trick to making a quick but rich duck sock is to brown the left over duck carcass and trimmings with aromatic vegetable in a heavy bottom sauce pan to create a flavorful brown glaze which we deglaze with white wine. We "cheat" a little bit by starting with some low sodium chicken broth. This makes a good stick base to start and cuts the cooking time down by a quite a bit. The browned duck and vegetables turn the simple chicken broth into a dark rich duck stock which with the ragu, gives the risotto a much complex taste.
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 1 hour
1 Carcass and trimmings of a de-boned Duck
1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Onion , coarsely chopped
2 Medium Carrots , coarsely chopped
2 Stalks Celery , coarsely chopped
1 cup Dry White Wine
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoons Thyme
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper Corns
1 Large Bay Leaf
1 Chop the duck carcass trimmings into a several pieces suitable for frying. Do not include the skin, it is too oily. (If you like you can cut the skin into pieces and render it into cracklings to serve on the side.)
2 In a heavy bottom stock pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and duck pieces and brown the duck pieces, about 5 to 10 minutes, scrapping the bottom and sides frequently.
3 Remove the duck pieces and add the chopped vegetables and continue to saute until the vegetables are browned, and a nice brown glaze develops on the bottom of the pan, 5 to 10 minutes. (If the pan is not crowded, you can keep the duck pieces in as you saute the vegetable.) It is important to develop a nice deep brown glaze, but control the heat carefully so you do not burn the bottom.
4 Add the duck pieces back, continue to saute for a few minutes, then deglaze the pan with the white wine. Continue to cook a bit, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan well.
5 Add the chicken broth and enough additional water just to just cover the duck pieces. Stir well and scrape the bottom and sides of the pot well until all the brown glaze is removed and dissolved into the stock.
6 Add the pepper corns, thyme and bay leaf. Bring the stock to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 1 hour (while your ragu is cooking). Occasionally check the cooking rate and stir the stock.
7 When the meat is falling off of the bones, the stock is done. Turn off the heat and allow the stock to cool a bit. When it is cool enough to safely handle, strain the stock into a storage container.
8 Refrigerate the stock until you are ready to use it. Before using it, skim off the excess fat which will have risen to the top of the stock, and will be easy to remove.