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Duck scraps


Jozef
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At my restaurant we use a fair amount of duck, but all the skin, fat and bones are left to waste.. I would really like to use them in some way, perhaps use the bones to make a stock and render the duck fat.

However i've never come across duck stock, what would I put in and what would I use it for? I imagine it would be quite rich when reduced.

And how do I render the duck fat? I'd like to use it to make a duck confit or just roast some potatoes in it.

This is my first ever post. I've been reading this forum for a while now and it's great to finally participate!!

Any guidance would be appriciated. Thanks

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At my restaurant we use a fair amount of duck, but all the skin, fat and bones are left to waste.. I would really like  to use them in some way, perhaps use the bones to make a stock and render the duck fat.

However I've never come across duck stock, what would I put in and what would I use it for? I imagine it would be quite rich when reduced.

And how do I render the duck fat? I'd like to use it to make a duck confit or just roast some potatoes in it.

This is my first ever post. I've been reading this forum for a while now and it's great to finally participate!!

Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks

I've never rendered a duck...I assume a little water in a pan with the skin and lumps of duck fat and over low heat...bring the water to a simmer and keep it there. The fat will leave the skin and the lumps of fat will melt both to float on top of the water. What doesn't float on the water can be chucked out. After a while transfer to the fridge and allow the fat to solidify for easy collection. Similar to how you would render chicken or pork fat.

If I were making Duck stock I would roast the bones first to get a nice dark looking stock.

As to other ingredients:Water to cover, a onion halved, some celery, several peppercorns (say 10), 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. possibly a forked orange or a lemon.

Reduced Duck stock would make a killer sauce with the addition of brandy or wine.

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I've never rendered a duck...I assume a little water in a pan with the skin and lumps of duck fat and over low heat...bring the water to a simmer and keep it there. The fat will leave the skin and the lumps of fat will melt both to float on top of the water. What doesn't float on the water can be chucked out. After a while transfer to the fridge and allow the fat to solidify for easy collection. Similar to how you would render chicken or pork fat.

If I were making Duck stock I would roast the bones first to get a nice dark looking stock.

As to other ingredients:Water to cover, a onion halved, some celery, several peppercorns (say 10), 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. possibly a forked orange or a lemon.

Reduced Duck stock would make a killer sauce with the addition of brandy or wine.

I had two whole ducks sitting around a few weeks ago. After using the breasts and legs, I rendered out the fat and made stock. (By the by, kosher duck is the most aggravating experience. The breasts were covered in left over bits of feathers, and one of them had a huge chunk of fat missing! With a tear in my eye, I cut off the crispy, delicious-looking skin.)

Duck fat is great to have around for confiting and potatoes. I've never heard of the water rendering, though it sounds like good temperature control. I just used low heat, and got a cup or two out of two small birds. You'd probably have to do a few of them (or one or two really fatty ones) to get enough for a confit.

The stock came out nicely, though it smelled more of celery than of duck and had the color of chicken stock. I didn't roast the bones, though, which will definitely happen next time. I also like the idea of onion, peppercorns, garlic, and lemon -- confit spices are good fit. Why not go whole hog (duck?) and throw in some thyme?

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Thanks for the ideas, i'm going to try rendering the fat using a bit of water as I had heard about that before. Our ducks are medium sized, i'm going to wait till I have about 3 or 4 so I can make up a batch of both the stock and rendered fat at the same time.

How long should I leave the stock on for, i usually leave my chicken/beef stock on for about 4 hrs, would that be too much? what temp should I be roasting the bones at, about 425F?

So what kind of a dish could I use the stock in? Reduce and serve with pan fried duck breasts, or is that duck over kill? Perhaps braise some beef in it? If I added brandy or wine, what would that sauce go with?

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Thanks for the ideas, i'm going to try rendering the fat using a bit of water as I had heard about that before. Our ducks are medium sized, i'm going to wait till I have about 3 or 4 so I can make up a batch of both the stock and rendered fat at the same time.

How long should I leave the stock on for, i usually leave my chicken/beef stock on for about 4 hrs, would that be too much? what temp should I be roasting the bones at, about 425F?

So what kind of a dish could I use the stock in? Reduce and serve with pan fried duck breasts, or is that duck over kill? Perhaps braise some beef in it? If I added brandy or wine, what would that sauce go with?

As to the stock...once the veggies are totally limp and have given their all to the stock and all remnants of flesh have fallen off the bones, I'd call it a done deal. So figure at least 2 hrs at a simmer.

As to the reduced stock sauce, I think it would be excellent drizzled over a duck breast and side dishes. Make like a hunter sauce.

Somewhat like beef stock made into sauce is very good over a steak or roast.

Also consider the addition of mushrooms to the sauce say chantrelles.

But since I know little about duck these are just what I would do, and should only be considered a guesstimate.

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So what kind of a dish could I use the stock in? Reduce and serve with pan fried duck breasts, or is that duck over kill? Perhaps braise some beef in it? If I added brandy or wine, what would that sauce go with?

Definitely not overkill -- using duck stock to finish duck is just good "completion". I'd try searing the breasts, cooking down some onions in the leftover fat, and then deglazing with the stock, some wine or brandy, and a little bit of ancho chilli puree. I've tried that without the stock; it was good, but the stock will add a lot of body.

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Render the duck skin in a dry frying pan, no water needed as the skin will provide the fat. This will take time but will produce duck fat which is the BEST thing to fry potatoes and other things in as well as duck cracklings. Sprinkle a little salt on the cracklings and seved over a mixed salad ala bacon bits or just serve with hot sauce. The carcass can be used to make a conventional stock but brown the carcass and onions to get a rick dark color. Reduce and add to pan drippings with or without madera for deglazing.

I hardly ever cook a whole domestic duck anymore preferring to do the above.-Dick

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All sounds excellent, really appriciate it. I've always been a bit wary about cooking duck, come to think about it fish too.. find them both much more intricate to deal with compared to cuts of beef and chicken.. but I guess thats cause i'm more used to preparing them.

Just another question, anyone tried 'sous viding' duck?

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  • 1 month later...
Just another question, anyone tried 'sous viding' duck?

I picked up a few fresh duck legs this morning and was thinking just that - a low slow heat with as little O2 as possible. I've got 4 legs to experiment with, and they're not pricey:

gallery_42214_4635_80364.jpg

My home version of SV is a stockpot on the stove at 60C +/- a few degrees. Those bags in which they are stored look better than what my vacuum sealer can do so I'm thinking "why not stick them in the bath as is, pricetags and all?"

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

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Moe Sizlack

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My home version of SV is a stockpot on the stove at 60C +/- a few degrees. Those bags in which they are stored look better than what my vacuum sealer can do so I'm thinking "why not stick them in the bath as is, pricetags and all?"

Not being able to add aromatics perhaps? Possibility that bags are "boilable"?

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Just another question, anyone tried 'sous viding' duck?

I picked up a few fresh duck legs this morning and was thinking just that - a low slow heat with as little O2 as possible. I've got 4 legs to experiment with, and they're not pricey:

My home version of SV is a stockpot on the stove at 60C +/- a few degrees. Those bags in which they are stored look better than what my vacuum sealer can do so I'm thinking "why not stick them in the bath as is, pricetags and all?"

I'm leery cooking anything without adding seasonings (at least salt!) as a matter of principle. I think the plastic is probably fine to those temps, but of course you never know if you didn't buy it yourself. As a side note, wow, that is a nice price on those legs :shock: . I guess I'm used to the Moulard from Hudson Valley Foie Gras - tasty, but a bit pricier than that!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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However i've never come across duck stock, what would I put in and what would I use it for? I imagine it would be quite rich when reduced.

Glad you came out of the woodwork, Jozef! Duck stock is great for soups, especially Asian-style soups. I've made wonton soup (filled with vegetables and scraps of duck meat) and the duck broth gave an incredible flavor to the dish. I made the stock the same way I make chicken stock- bones leftover from cooked pieces, covered with cold water, brought to a gentle boil, skimmed, add aromatics, and simmer till the bones are falling apart and the stock tastes rich. (4 hours should be good)

I bet the stock would be fantastic in a reduced sauce or other soups. I've been thinking about making garlic soup- maybe I'll use duck stock as the base.....

Peter, please report back on the outcome of your duck legs!

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Peter, please report back on the outcome of your duck legs!

Will do. I have been assured that the plastic packaging is a food-safe Dupont product and can handle temps beyond 100C (212F).

There seems to be a reasonable amount of fat in the package, which is a good thing. I too would like to do some additional seasoning. Since there are two packs, my plan is crack one open, add some salt, black pepper, maybe some citrus, them reseal in my own plastic. SV @ 60C+/- 3hrs. (how's that for a cryptic food-nerd sentence?)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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SV @ 60C+/- 3hrs. (how's that for a cryptic food-nerd sentence?)

It'll be cooked but I think the legs may be tough. The SV and the duck confit threads have discussed confit legs and I remember that cooking times were significantly longer than 3 hours.

May I ask that you please post photos of how they look coming out of the bag, as well your impressions on the taste and texture?

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I used super-reduced duck stock as a component of a dipping sauce for pot stickers made with duck leg confit. Best dipping sauce ever.

On the other hand, I made soup with the rest of the stock, but it was a bit bland.

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May I ask that you please post photos of how they look coming out of the bag, as well your impressions on the taste and texture?

Did the duck today!

Two vacuum packs from the store, two fresh organic duck legs in each. Around 60 cents per leg. One pack goes straight in as-is. The other gets the juice of half an orange, a shot of olive oil, and a bit of salt. Initially, I thought the syringe would be helpful, but wound up just snipping the pouch's corner and pouring in the seasoning. Resealed the bag with my vacuum heat sealer:

gallery_42214_5306_104144.jpg

The bag on the left has the added juice:

gallery_42214_5306_80133.jpg

I cooked them for around 3 hours at 55-60 C, then discovered that would be a bit too low for fowl (perfect for rare beef). Adjusted the heat to 70-75C and let it go another 4 hours. Took them out:

gallery_42214_5306_91449.jpg

Ready for de-bagging:

gallery_42214_5306_74428.jpg

The unseasoned pair dumped out:

gallery_42214_5306_63926.jpg

The seasoned pair dumped out:

gallery_42214_5306_84995.jpg

Pan-sear in butter:

gallery_42214_5306_22278.jpg

On a plate with rice. I made a butter/flour/s.v. juice sauce for each (cleaned the no-stick pan in between)

gallery_42214_5306_80235.jpg

Results:

Both ways were delicious, way better than the legs off a roast duck. My wife liked the untreated duck, which surprised me since it was a stronger, gamier taste. I preferred the citrus note and subtly softer seasoned duck. I think the acid marinade and slightly smaller size contributed to a more tender leg.

Conclusion:

This way is the cat's ass! I have never had better whole duck legs. Proper confit is a different food, not a fair comparison. I will absolutely do this again, 5-6 hours at 75C, seasoning poured into the pouch and re-sealed.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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All that duck is making me hungry. One thing you might want to consider is picking up a copy of Paula Wolfert's awesome The Cooking of Southwest France. There is a ton of great info about duck, duck fat, confit, etc., along with quite a few recipes, including what to do with Duck Fat and Cracklings, or Graisse de Canard Graisserons.

There is also a thread on eGullet about the book, and it may be found here.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Thanks for updating Peter! Do you think that duck breasts could work this way? If so, what recommendations would you make for time/temp?

Well, having done this once . . . I'm an expert!

Yes I think breasts could be lovely done this way. I would ensure 75 C because I don't like the idea of rare bird, which is what I saw in the 60's degrees. I'll bet thickness is a major concern as well, 5 hours should get through an inch of anything. I'd consider searing afterwards on the gas grill, although the pan sear made for a nice sauce.

Actually, next time I get fresh duck breasts . . . I'm making prosciutto!

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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You'll want to cook your breasts at a lower temp than 75 for sure, I'd say go at about 57 for a nice med rare duck breast. Time wouldn't be too much of a factor, since the temp is stable and won't overcook, but you shouldn't need more than an hour for it to cook to temp all the way through. The need to rest is also minimal as well...and a quick pan sear to get a nicely browned exterior is nice too.

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You'll want to cook your breasts at a lower temp than 75 for sure, I'd say go at about 57 for a nice med rare duck breast. Time wouldn't be too much of a factor, since the temp is stable and won't overcook, but you shouldn't need more than an hour for it to cook to temp all the way through. The need to rest is also minimal as well...and a quick pan sear to get a nicely browned exterior is nice too.

Really? After several hours at 55 C it looked like warm duck blood in the bag. Mind you, my thermometer was $5 and there's no circulation in my big pot.

Would you expect a leg to need more time than a breast because there is more connective tissue, sinews, etc.?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Would you expect a leg to need more time than a breast because there is more connective tissue, sinews, etc.?

Absolutely. IMO, a duck breast needs to be served rare to medium rare, while the leg, thigh, wing need to be much more cooked to break down all that conective tissue, fat, sinew, etc.

I don't necessarily see the benefit of cooking the breast for hours and hours in a water bath when it can be nicely cooked on top of the stove...great crispy skin and lovely rare meat can be had in 15 to 20 minutes.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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