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Jul 27, 2010 05:26 AM

Big score: Whole duck, pork belly and quail now what do with it?

Yesterday with my birthday money I went to local Asian supermarket and bought: a whole frozen duck, a pound of sliced pork belly, and two quail. Now that have these goodies what do i do with them. I was thinking of breaking up the duck, is that a good idea or should I keep it whole. I have a game plan with the pork belly but the quail no effing clue. So please my fellow chowhounds in your infinite wisdom what should I do?

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  1. I make quail confit with legs and either sear the breasts, or grill them on skewers or make meatballs (if I've got a lot of them). The bones go to make quail stock.

    You can also debone them and stuff them with minced pork belly, aromatics and foie gras, though one classic involves a cabbage stuffing. They're also nice spatchcocked and grilled with a little oregano (very simple). One alternative which will also require a chicken: make a variant of turducken.

    minced pork belly, quail, minced pork belly, chicken, minced pork belly, duck

    I'm sure others will have other suggestions for you.

    1. On a day when you will be slaving away over a more complex duck or pork preparation, butterfly the birds, throw them in a marinade (any sort, have at it) and then blast them on the grill. They are difficult to overcook and when roasted through, have a wonderful, tense chewyness.

      1. Honey-glazed quail wrapped in bacon, cooked on the grill. Served on a bed of arugula.

        1. Given a whole duck (and there's always one in the freezer), I like to keep it whole. Simple roast. Simple veggie accompaniements. A wine & fruit gravy.

          Strips of belly pork say "rillettes" to me. Google will find you loads of recipes. I'm assuming it's still got the skin on, in which case take it off to make strips of crackling.

          1. Whole duck can be problematic if you don't know what you're doing. If you do know how to correctly roast it, then go ahead, or you can debone via the glove method and make a variant of eight-treasure duck.

            If you're willing to break it down, confit or braise the legs and use the frame for stock.

            For the breasts, either sous-vide or sear as magrets. A slightly more adventurous version would be do the magret in its original version as per its inventor André Daguin: in a salt crust.

            If you have the knife skills and want to do a Blumenthal variation, you can skin the duck (except the legs) and make crackling (I sous-vide the breast when I do this).

            Sliced pork belly is really nice in okonomiyaki and yakisoba, and I've included it in a sandwich (don't use sliced much; I generally use pieces of belly).