It's duck stretching time
December 17, 2011 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I've got half a stewing duck in the freezer. I need it to stretch to feed six people. As it's going to be eaten around Christmas time I'd prefer to serve it with veggies (rather than, say, rice or pasta) and some kind of sauce. There's a few recipes out there but what are the awesome ones? I'm prepared to try a confit but I know that the amount of oil/fat wouldn't go down too well with other people. Long, slow, cooking is more than okay.
posted by TheDonF to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If there's enough skin, maybe you could use it to make Peking Duck (or something similar) as a separate course? With pancakes and plenty of cucumber and spring onion, you can make a fairly filling dish with the skin alone.
posted by lucidium at 6:55 PM on December 17, 2011

Duck risotto.
posted by Gilbert at 7:36 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cassoulet is the only right answer to stretch half a duck for 6 people.

I typed out the recipe we used to re-purpose duck leftovers for family meal when I worked in restaurants... But my effing phone ate it. Memail if you want nerdy details, but basically....

Take off the skin and fat. (make cracklings out of the skin! Reserve the fat for future uses..) Simmer your half duck in chicken stock with soaked white beans and mirepoix+herbs. Add a small pinch of baking soda to help beans soften. Go ahead and add some smokey pork product, too. When beans are cooked, remove carcass, pull off duck meat, return meat to pot. Sweat more veg in that leftover duck far (leeks, toms, shrooms, more carrot, etc.) and add that to the finished cassoulet and serve. Enjoy!
posted by jbenben at 7:52 PM on December 17, 2011 [8 favorites]

Similar to lucidium's suggestion, here's a recipe for Moo Shu Duck with homemade pancakes. It calls for a whole duck, but you could double the non-meat part of the filling to stretch your half duck.

To be honest, though, I'd go for jbenben's cassoulet. It's hard to beat cassoulet for festive, indulgent winter duck meals.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:29 AM on December 18, 2011

Half a duck is not much. I would suggest cassoulet as well.
posted by OmieWise at 4:51 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Came in to suggest cassoulet. late to the party, as always. When I made cassoulet, I found these incredibly complicated recipes, though I doubt every French country cook gets quite so involved. Read a bunch of recipes and decide which components you want most. Serve with good bread. toulouse-style-cassoulet cassoulet in 10 steps Cassoulet
posted by theora55 at 7:26 AM on December 18, 2011

If you can afford it then I would buy a chicken or two and also serve that.
posted by meepmeow at 12:00 PM on December 18, 2011

ZOMG cassoulet! So, from start to finish it took about five hours to cook; clearly those rustic peasants had a lot of spare time on their hands! I'm not complaining at all, though, as it was delicious.

I found a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe and combined that with the recipes that jbenben memailed me and the links by theora55. The bit I took from the H F-W recipe was how to cook the beans. We got some dried beans and soaked them overnight. To cook them, we added a raw onion studded with four cloves, two raw cloves of garlic, a lump of pork belly and a bouquet garni. Towards the end of the cooking, we let the water get thick and soupy and used that, sans flavourings, in the final dish.

I removed the meat from my half duck and now have a carcass in the freezer awaiting a stock pot. I made two loaves of ciabatta, and a simple salad which he served with a simple balsamic dressing. So. Good.

Thanks, AskMe! I must leave you now to cook two ribs of beef. And deal with a slightly fuzzy head.
posted by TheDonF at 1:04 PM on December 26, 2011

Sounds great!
posted by OmieWise at 5:52 PM on December 26, 2011

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