Friday, July 23, 2010

Duck Duck Soup

Duck Duck Soup...Stock, Broth and rendered Duck FAT...YUMMM !

what do you do when you bring home an absolutely beautiful whole roasted duck and no one is as excited as you are?...make soup. actually it's a 3 in one bonus. you'll end up with a flavorful soup, rich stock and the always sought after and ever so expensive rendered DUCK FAT.

the broth is fabulous and rich. i like to reduce about half of the pot and keep a bit in the freezer to use with quick sauteed veggies or add into a braising liquid for just about anything. the other half goes into the soup for the night.

i found my beautiful duck fully cooked at my favorite Asian market, 99 Ranch Market in Irvine, CA. i've been fascinated with duck for a while and never tried cooking a whole one myself. #1, they are pretty expensive in regular markets (about 25-30 bucks) and #2 i've heard they are kind of tricky to cook properly. the ratio of fat to meat is not even throughout the body so it seems one must control the cooking to get the perfect roast bird. when i saw this baby hanging in the deli section i was so excited, but immediately knew it would be pricey...not so. the whole cooked duck was only $14.00...i'll take 3 please. no, i just bought one, but you can bet i was back within the week getting another. i made Asian flavor Duck Rillettes with the second. i haven't posted about it yet, but oooh they were delicious.

so, since this duck was ALL MINE i took it apart piece by piece...totally enjoyed and devoured the wings, legs and thighs on their own and set aside the breasts for the soup or stew i knew i had to make with all this ducky goodness. the meat was a little seasoned and the skin was delicious and crispy. after wiping away the carnivorous debris, i was smart enough to keep all the bones and fatty skin from the parts i had eaten and, as you can see, i had the whole body/carcass...head to tail...with all it's flavorful fatty skin and bones. everybody into the pool. what i mean is everything goes in the pot except, of course, the breasts.

adapted from Chichajo @ 80 Breakfasts
original recipe and great blog found HERE

The bones (the whole carcass including head) of 1 Peking Duck (or roasted, as shown)
2 carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces
2 onions, peeled and cut in quarters
2-3 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, bashed
1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into rounds
2 jalepeno peppers halved
2 star anise
A few sprigs of cilantro
A few stalks spring onions (I used about 3)
Whole black peppercorns approx. 10 - 15
1/4 cup soy sauce

- Place everything in a stockpot and cover with water. The water should reach about an inch over the duck.
- Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that appears. Reduce to a simmer and cover pot. Let the stock simmer gently for 2-3 hours.
- Uncover pot and simmer for about 30 minutes more to reduce stock. Taste and either adjust seasoning or reduce further to deepen flavor.
strain, but do not use cheese cloth. use a regular fine strainer if you are interested in rendering as much of the duck fat as possible
- Portion as you prefer and let cool. Use immediately or store in the fridge if you’ll be using it in a couple of days…if not, freeze for future enjoyment

don't forget to render the duck fat. i like to pour the stock into 1 qt. containers and let it come to room temp. to let the fat rise to the top. then into the fridge for the fat to solidify. render the fat off each container and put into separate container...microwave the fat slightly back to liquid state and pour into an appropriate size container for storage. this will keep in the fridge like butter or you can freeze it for future use.


Deana Sidney said...

Lovely soup! I used to save the flavorful bones from many duck dishes to make stock... absolutely delicious and great photos

Anonymous said...

You said you have never cooked a whole duck.

Try the whole five spice option and stuff it with a combination of ingredients like Sang Cho Bow.

Be sure to use a chopstick and lift the skin from the flesh and put seasoning and spices in between.

Serve with rice and steemed ginger greens.

Unknown said...

Nice Blog !
Methods of Modern Farming
Food of Duck

-Will- said...

I followed your advice and got my duck at 99 Ranch. I'd seen them there several times while eating at the food court.

The Duck Duck Soup was fabulous, but the pièce de résistance was using the duck fat for cooking some outrageous pancakes in that rich duck fat. Pure decadence!!!

Thanks, Will

Jules and Ruby said...

hey job with the pancakes. i love doing this soup because you get a win win win situation. eat some duck, make duck soup AND get the delicious duck fat for other good eats.
well done !!!

Shanghai Mama's girl said...

Late to the party, but a friend for whom I make this soup passed it along. I suggest a slight different version: Make the broth for sure, then add (any or all) tofu, Chinese or Napa cabbage, any leftover meat, scallions (may also be leftover), shiitakes and cellophane noodles. If the duck was seasoned correctly, you may not need much more, but white pepper is the perfect balance to me. (Make sure you tell the wait staff early on you want the whole carcass.) Happy eating all!

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