Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Duck Experimenting

Remember last week, when I made duck? Well I'm a big believer in using the bones to make stock (which I did) and then using that stock to make soup. I love soup made from homemade stock!

I wanted something that would match the rich flavor of the duck stock, so I decided to make my version of hot and sour soup.

(I think it would have been great to have taken pictures during the cooking process, don't you? Sigh... I forgot to take the camera out until it was time to serve.)

For my soup (so I made this recipe up out of my head... I think it is a pretty forgiving recipe, so use your judgement and taste with the ingredients):

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
1.25 pounds extra lean ground turkey (I would have liked a nice duck sausage to compliment the stock, but I couldn't find any at my local store.  Next time I'll order some from somewhere like Maple Leaf Farms)
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper (or more - or less - depending on how hot you like it)
1/4 - 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (this gives the soup a sweet, sour and slightly "soy sauce" flavor, without all the sodium)
1 quart duck stock

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Brown the onion, red bell pepper and ground turkey.  Once the turkey is browned through, add the cayenne pepper and cook for several minutes until combined.  Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for several minutes until combined.  Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil.  Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until flavors are well blended.  You can add more cayenne if you like it spicier or more vinegar (adding a different type of vinegar, like a bright white wine vinegar, can lift the flavors if needed).

While the soup is simmering, I made roasted vegetables to go with my soup.  I wanted something sweet to go with my soup, so I added a bit of maple syrup to the vegetables before roasting.  Delicious!

For the vegetables:

1 sweet potato
1 red bell pepper
1 cup baby carrots
1 head cauliflower
1 can sweet corn
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons fresh herbs (I used oregano, parsley and thyme)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Dice the sweet potato, pepper, carrots and cauliflower into small pieces.  (this will help speed the roasting process)  Put all of the vegetables into a microwave safe bowl.  Add the vegetable oil and cook in the microwave until the carrots and potatoes are soft.

Stir in the herbs and maple syrup and spread in a roasting pan.  Roast in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Stir the vegetables, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over them and return to the oven.  Roast another 10 - 15 minutes until vegetables are slightly brown.

To serve:

Spoon some of the roasted vegetables into your bowl.

Doesn't that look tasty?  Then ladle some of the soup over the vegetables.

You'll end with a bowl that looks like this:

If you want to forgo the vegetables, the soup is tasty on its own.  You'll get something that looks like this.  You might enjoy the irony of my duck soup picture atop my pig cutting board.  ;-)

I loved the way the sweet vegetables complimented the rich, spicy, sour soup!  This was one of the best dinners I've made in a while.  I can't wait to make this with duck sausage!

Check out Ott, A and the rest of the "Iron Chef Challenge: Duck" entries here!

Mhnaty! Pin It

Friday, January 14, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge!

I am entering Ott,A's Iron Chef Challenge this month - challenging us to use duck! I started with Duck l'Orange, and this weekend I am planning to use the broth I made with the leftover bones etc. to make duck soup. Yum (at least I hope!)... and I'll let you know how it goes.

Interested in trying duck yourself? Enter Ott,A's Iron Chef Challenge!

Zentmrs Pin It

Monday, January 10, 2011

Experiment: Duck!

Some time ago, my father-in-law brought me a whole duck. Frozen. So I put it in my freezer and there it sat, mocking me. Really, that's what it did.

You see, I've never made duck before, and I was worried that it wouldn't taste good, or would be difficult to cook... I'd read that it was a very fatty bird and would make my house smell funny when I cooked it.

(I think I may read too much.)

Enter Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge - with this month's ingredient: DUCK!  I figured this was a great opportunity to try a new recipe, alleviate my duck-cooking fears, or at the very least, get that duck to stop mocking me from my freezer.

I wanted to make Duck l'Orange.  We ate that every Christmas Eve when I was a kid, so I knew what it should taste like.

The first step is to stuff the duck with apple and season the duck.

You'll roast the duck at 350*F until it reaches 185*F. And in the meantime, assemble the ingredients for the orange sauce. A good spicy mango chutney adds a key flavor to the sauce. My recipe calls for peach preserves (though I think next time I'll use orange marmalade to give the sauce a stronger orange flavor.)

Once the duck is close to done cooking, mix all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and boil until the alcohol burns off and the sauce begins to thicken... about 6 minutes.

Take the duck out of the oven. I have to say, this smelled amazing!

If you are lucky, you can get someone who knows what they are doing to carve your duck. The Mr carved ours.

While The Mr was busy carving, I got the rest of the dinner together - some peas picked fresh from our garden that afternoon...

... and freshly baked bread...

... I love fresh Italian bread.

Spoon the sauce over the duck once you have carved it.  I expect it will look something like this:

This meal was fantastic.  I loved the sauce - spicy and sweet.  And the duck was tender and rich, and did not taste fatty or gamy.  My father-in-law said it was the best duck he'd ever had!  Even The Girl said "The duck doesn't taste bad" which is high praise indeed out of a 13-year-old's mouth.

Here's the recipe:

Duck l'Orange


For the duck
1 duck
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 large granny smith apples
2 cloves garlic
2 sage leaves
1 teaspoon light olive oil

Orange Sauce
4 tablespoons spicy mango chutney
2 tablespoons peach preserves
1 oranges, juice of
3 tablespoons of duck drippings, from pan
1/4 cup red wine


Sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder, and salt all over ducks.

Cut 1-inch slice in skin of ducks on both sides of breasts.

Puree garlic, sage and olive oil and fill in slices in skin with mixture.

Chop apple into 1-inch pieces and stuff inside ducks.

Bake at 350*F (175*C) for 1 hour 30 minutes for a slightly rare duck, or 2 hours for a well done duck.

Put the ingredients for the L'Orange sauce in saucepan and heat until alcohol simmers off, about 6 minutes.

Serve L'Orange sauce over sliced duck breasts or other parts.

I will definitely make this again. Thanks to Ott,A for challenging us to use an ingredient I hadn't used before!

Mhnaty! Pin It