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So I received two ducks from my meat CSA - what to do with them?

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I have two whole Rouen ducks in my freezer - taking up valuable space - and I have no idea what to do with these guys. Does anyone have any ideas? Excl. Peking duck - way too much work.

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  1. Wow! A meat CSA sounds like heaven.

    I just bought 4 ducks from the Asian market. Rendered the skin for fat, made confit out of the legs, used the carcasses for stock, and froze the breasts and wings separately. They don't take up much space. The breasts are good for a quick meal...pan-fried with a simple pan-sauce.

    But just cutting them up into parts will save you valuable freezer space.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeremyn

      well, i go along with this partly. i'd thaw 'em, cut 'em up, make confit from the legs/thighs and stock from the wings and carcass. i'd pan fry the breasts--but right away. i wouldn't refreeze them. the confit will keep for quite a while without freezing so there's no worry about having back to back duck meals.

      the confit legs would make a dandy start to a cassoulet.

    2. search for an article in the NYT archives from a few years ago by Amanda Hesser about different ways to cook duck. I love the article and my favorite method is to put the whole duck n the oven on low for 3-4 hours, which renders the fat, then finish at high heat to crisp the skin. The NYT is still free online, at least for now.

      OR, send them to me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cocktailhour

        lol - I would have gladly sent them down to you if you hadn't told me about the NYT article... I think this is it..

        http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/19/din...

        now I am inspired.

        1. re: Apple

          darn! But that article is so wonderful to read, and yes that's the one.

      2. Canard a la orange is classic.

        1. this is how I always cook them; really really terrific.

          The Amazing Five Hour Roast Duck
          http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/spe...

          1. I second jeremyn's thoughts - and you get 4 separate wonderful elements from the two birds.
            -duck stock takes things you'd use chicken stock in, and elevates them to another level of deliciousness!
            -you can use the duck fat as you'd use butter - to fry an egg, to saute greens (so yummy), etc. Once you start with this, you will want to have some in your refrig at all times.
            -jeremyn, do you use the wings for something other than stock? i'm curious... I've just thrown them into the pot.
            yum! enjoy them...

            2 Replies
            1. re: lodgegirl

              Normally I would throw them in with the stock, but I froze them this time because I want to try frying them like chicken wings.

              1. re: jeremyn

                I would love to know how that goes. Would be a nice variant for next super bowl! thanks...

            2. Smoked Duck and Andouille (Or some local spicy sausage) Gumbo....Smoke the duck...you only need one... Remove most of the meat and reserve to be added in at the last....Make stock from the carcass...you are on your way!

              Enjoy!

              1. Just had tea-smoked duck at a Chinese restaurant yesterday. I'm all ready to buy a smoker now. It was fabulous.

                1. The ducks I get are usually from BSA -- bubba supported agriculture, since I don't hunt. ;-)
                  And wild ducks can have a strong taste. I almost always smoke them in my big outdoor smoker, then slit and stuff the breasts with cream cheese and jalepeno to smoke a bit longer. Add lime juice and such to thin the stuffing, and use it as dip for the other parts.
                  DAN

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: danbob

                    my mouth is watering as I read that. I don't have a smoker... we can do it in our bbq but it's the dead of winter up here.

                  2. Thanks for everyone's input.

                    We cooked one of the ducks this weekend based on the NY Times article as linked above. It was ridiculously easy... like making a roast chicken.

                    I washed it, trussed it, seasoned it and threw it in the oven for a couple of hours. The skin came out super crispy and the meat was super moist and tender.

                    We reserved the duck fat (I used to buy it from my butcher if you can believe it) and I used it to cook our eggs for breakfast the next day.

                    We will probably give it a couple more weeks to figure out what to do with the last duck... but all of your suggestions have been simply marvelous.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Apple

                      I have been thinking of joining a meat CSA this year that delivers to the GTA. Could you share which CSA you joined and your experience with them? Many thanks.

                      1. re: Jessalyn

                        Hi Jessalyn

                        I joined Wholearth last year and thought the quality of meat was fantastic. Her eggs were unbelievable... Montana Jones takes real pride in her heritage breeds of pork, chicken, and sheep. Tell her Hungry Gal sent you (that'a my blogger name)

                        Full disclosure: We didn't sign up this year because I am on mat leave for the year and we need to watch our cash. It's not expensive but it is the upfront cash outlay. We will sign up again when i return to work.

                        http://www.wholearth.com/