Two Ducks Equal Numerous Delicious Dishes

 At Thanksgiving time we got our turkey from my friend JLB and as a bonus she threw in two meat ducks. We love duck. We usually have wild duck which is different from domestic duck but we have discovered that both are equally delicious. We cut up the ducks and froze the pieces separately. The livers were cooked and chopped then mixed with scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast the next morning.

The first package was four beautiful breasts with the fat left on. We enjoyed them as the focus of our New Years Eve Dinner. Cooked simply using a recipe called Pan Roasted Duck Breast the flavor of the duck was able to shine through. Cooking the duck breasts in that manner results in quite a bit of duck fat which was saved for future use. Thinly sliced potatoes are wonderful cooked in duck fat.

Package two was 4 duck hindquarters. Duck hindquarters are rather dainty so the package isn’t very large. A few years ago Joe took me to a wonderful little restaurant on the Washington Coast. I had planned on ordering crab or some other seafood there. However, the server told me about the special of the day which was Duck Confit. I decided on that dish. The duck had been cooked in a crock pot and was fall apart tender. The flavor of it was beyond amazing. I’m hoping to be able to re-create that Duck Confit here at home. I’ve found a few different crock pot recipes for Confit. The only catch is finding the right time to make it. Those four dainty little duck hindquarters won’t go very far with my family of seven! Maybe I need to send everyone else out and make a romantic Duck Confit for two. I like the sounds of that.

Package three is all of the fat we trimmed off of the ducks. It is a rather large package and at some time I need to render it down. Hmmmm. Maybe that should be one of my kitchen goals for the month that Kelly the Kitchen Kop was asking us to share. That sounds like a good goal.

Packages four and five were each a duck carcass to be used for stock. Duck stock is a bit stronger than chicken stock but quite delicious. I turned one carcass into stock last week (using my usual method for making stock) and made a delicious appetizer soup from about a 1/2 gallon of the broth. I used the recipe for Coconut Chicken Soup from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon as my guide. She offers a variation for Coconut Duck Soup but I did end up substituting a few ingredients. The end result was perfect. The original recipe calls for dried chile flakes which I never seem to have (I really should buy some) so I used the top of a jalapeno pepper that I had in the fridge from another dinner. It simmered just long enough to release a bit of heat but it wasn’t overpowering.


The soup was wonderful. It is on the thin side so more of a ‘drink from a mug’ type soup which of course my kids enjoyed. With coconut milk and ginger in it along with the hint of heat from the pepper, the flavors reminded me of something I would have enjoyed in a Thai restaurant.

I still have over a half gallon of duck stock left which I’ll be using later today as the liquid in the garbanzo beans I’m cooking for tonight’s dinner (why do I cook beans in broth?). In addition, I saved the fat off the top of the broth to use for cooking with too. And of course I have another complete carcass still in the freezer (which I’m sure I’ll be using to make that delicious soup again).

I would say those two ducks did well for us. Let’s recap the meals from them.

1) Duck livers and Scrambled Eggs for breakfast
2) Pan Roasted Duck Breasts
3) Duck Confit for two (future meal)
4) Coconut Duck Soup
5) 1/2 gallon plus Duck Broth to add extra protein and minerals to Garbanzo Beans
6) Coconut Duck Soup (future dish planned with the remaining carcass and I’ll have broth leftover)

Plus all that rich duck fat to use for cooking.

We were so pleased with the flavor of the duck that we are considering raising ducks ourselves. I’m not sure that is something we will do this year but maybe next year.

Have you had duck (either wild or domestic)? Did you enjoy it? Have you raised ducks? Any advice for me?
This post is a contribution to Real Food Wednesday hosted this week by Cheeseslave.

7 comments to Two Ducks Equal Numerous Delicious Dishes

  • Donna

    >I made a couple of ducks during the holidays. Bought them at Kroger.
    My family enjoyed them. I roasted them like I do chickens. I want to make a broth with the bones but was afraid the taste would be so obvious that everyone would fuss. Some of my kids like the duck better than chicken. DH liked it the first time I cooked it, but not the second. hmm

    Looks like U did great with yours!

  • Kimi

    >I love stretching our my meat too. I love how you shared how you stretched yours out!

  • Millie

    >Donna,
    I wondered about roasting them. I'll have to try that sometime.

    Kimi,
    Thanks!

  • suzannah

    >i'm bookmarking this! my husband is a hunter who's come home with a few birds. he's made a few delicious stir fries, but your recipes sound really unique:) we love all things coconut, too.

  • maggie

    >I'm so glad to have found this post! My son ordered duck in London and loved it (which, considering his picky tastes, is a miracle). I would love to be able to prepare duck for him at home- if I can find it. Thanks so much!

  • Aiming4Simple

    >We love to eat duck. I don't buy it often because it usually comes with that icky orange sauce. I like to make duck braised in white wine, mushroom and garlic sauce. Now you've got me hankering for it. =)

  • Millie

    >Suzannah,
    We haven't tried any of these with wild duck just domestic. I think it would work depending on the type of duck. The breast is sometimes on the smaller side in wild duck. We love wild duck breast done 'chicken-fried'. My husband is always the cook when we have that so it tastes extra delicous to me since someone else made it :-)

    Maggie,
    You're welcome. Isn't it funny sometimes what children will like?

    Aiming,
    That sounds delicious! I'm hankering for it too.

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Hi and Welcome! I'm so happy that you have found your way here. I hope that you will find useful information in your real food journey. Our real food journey has changed over the years to include a small two acre farm with a larger 20 acre farm in our future. I'm excited to share our busy, and sometimes crazy, adventures as we learn new things. We're also working hard to be completely debt free so you'll find information on finances and general frugality along with various family adventures plus the occasional 'odd' category depending on what's going on in our world. Thanks for joining along! ~ Millie

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