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Sourcing duck!

Greetings Austin hounds! Moved here about 2 months ago and wish I had done it years ago, its a fantastic city you guys have here! Finally starting to get settled in and am enjoying the Austin lifestyle!

I have recently been having a craving for duck confit and was wondering where a good place to source eitrher duck legs or whole ducks might be. Ive gotten duck breasts from central market, but dont think Ive seen whole ducks there. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Also, if anyone has any info on a good pork belly source that would be great too, I got some from whole foods over the weekend, but I dont know what the butcher was thinking when he cut this, Ive never gotten pork belly cut this way and it is less than ideal to say the least.

Thanks!

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  1. Sebastian at the downtown farmer's market breeds ducks and sells them. You should check with him about availability, price and size. He also sells duck eggs, wild hogs, and geese at Christmas time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Andrew Zachary

      yep: Sebastien Bonneu of Countryside Farms. He raises muscovys and pekings. He's currently at both downtown and the Cedar Park FM. You'll get a whole duck, including the neck & head, all innerds (liver, gizzard, heart), and feet. Make stock, render fat, confit, roast/braise the rest, you name it. His birds are fabulous.

      1. re: malarkey

        Just tried making Peking Duck with a duck we got from Sebastien at CPFM. I struggled and over-cooked it a bit (my first time doing duck and my first time using our new infrared rotisserie) but it was still very nice. I can't wait to try it again--and I'll get the duck from him.

    2. welcome to austin!

      this thread taught me a lot, including where to find reasonably-priced pork belly:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/791546

      another duck recommendation-- subscribe to the dai due newsletter.
      they have a stall at the big farmer's market down south.
      sometimes they will also have pick-ups at their kitchen downtownish.
      in addition to butchery and charcuterie, they also have great condiments.
      sometimes they do dinner clubs too so they are a good thing to keep an eye on.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinaofdoom

        Thanks so much for the link to MT market. I tried to go to an asian market for pork belly over the weekend, but my first try was hong kong market on parmer, but thats closed down, then I tried some other asian market but they didnt sell pork belly. This place is near where I live so Ill make a trip very soon!

      2. The whole foods pork belly is sliced but you can ask for it in chunk form. In sliced form, it works well for stuff like Korean Sam Gyeop Sal. No skin on it though. 3.99/lb I believe

        The MT pork belly is a bit cheaper at 2.79 per pound but has some bone and skin.

        so yeah, depends on your application.

        MT also has frozen whole duck for about $10 to $12 each.

        I think the more difficult ingredient to find if you are looking to make duck confit traditionally is the tub of rendered duck fat.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lixlix

          "I think the more difficult ingredient to find if you are looking to make duck confit traditionally is the tub of rendered duck fat."

          Have a couple tubs in my fridge. They have had it at central market every time Ive been.

          "The whole foods pork belly is sliced but you can ask for it in chunk form. "
          I ask for some from the back in chunk form, but instead of giving me something that looked like a slab of bacon I got 2 odd shaped pieces that are for sure less than ideal for traditional pork belly preperations. I should have looked at what he was wrapping because I probably would have refused it.

           
           
          1. re: twyst

            hmm yeah that does look very weird.

            1. re: twyst

              The only things that I see that are odd about it are that it is only a small fraction of a whole and it looks odd because it has been scrunched to fit in the bag. That fat U shape in the center looks to me like it would fold out into a "bacon-ish shape" if pulled from each side and the two thin flaps folded at the bottom should probably be trimmed as they will take up too much of the cure.

              1. re: akachochin

                its not scrunched. It came frozen from whole foods and was vacuum packed while still frozen to prepare for the sous vide bath. Thats the shape it came in. Ive bought belly at least 50 times and Ive never gotten anything slightly similar to this.

            2. re: lixlix

              Whole foods used to have some prepared duck confit that was pretty good for the price. Haven't checked in a few years, though.

            3. Most places charge about $3/lb for whole duck (frozen). Cheapest place is Restaurant Depot for $2.19/lb. They just started carrying them this month.

              -sw

              3 Replies
              1. re: sqwertz

                is restaurant depot a place where you need a wholesale license?

                1. re: dinaofdoom

                  Im wondering about this as well. Judging by the website it seems that way :(

                  1. re: twyst

                    Some people have reported that they are able to get one day shopping passes with no problem.

                    All you need is a tax use permit or a tax exemption authorization (church, school, other non-profit).

                    I applied for a Tax Use Certificate for my fictitious business (invented just for this purpose) through the State Comptroller and received it about 7 days later. That's all there is to it. there's nothing underhanded or illegal about it. I just have to report $0 taxes every quarter which takes about 2 minutes on line. There's also an 800-number to call specifically to report $0 taxes. Apparently this is pretty common.

                    And most important, it's gets you a RD membership. And they have awesome prices on some things if you want to buy in bulk. Cheeses, some of them pretty high-end, and lunch meats especially are cheap. Chicken is cheap, but pork beef and seafood are the same as Costco - but a much larger variety at RD. Good lump charcoal at $.25/lb, lots of frozen appetizer type things, tons of vegetables on steroids (carrots almost as big as your forearm)

                    Go take a look around - just walk in and look - no pass required. It's a great way to beat the heat, too. Half the store is a large refrigerator, literally. They have jackets you can borrow.

              2. Restaurant Depot is also the cheapest for whole, boneless pork belly. $2.28/lb.