Duck Gumbo

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This is from left over cooked duck that was smoked in apple wood on Thanksgiving.

Duck Stock:

1 Leftover duck carcass
1 carrot large chunks
1 celery stalk large chunks
½ yellow onion left whole
2 garlic cloves cut in half
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water

Add everything to the pot and bring to boil.  Lower the fire to simmer and cook 1 hour.  Strain the stock and set the stock aside to cool.  Discard the veggies and bones.  If there is some meat on the bones that is useful separate that meat and add it with the other meat. 

Gumbo Ingredients:

5 TBSP Olive Oil
5 TBSP flour

1 medium celery finely chopped
½ green bell pepper finely chopped
½ yellow onion finely chopped

Leftover duck legs, thighs, and wings deskinned and deboned and broken into spoon size pieces.
1 – 6-inch stick Andouille sausage sliced ¼ inch

2 scallions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper
Small bay leaf
1 cup of cooked rice
2 or 3 cups of duck stock

  1. Meat: Prepare the duck and remove the bones and knuckles.  Retain the useful meat.  In a separate non-stick fry pan pre-fry the sausage to remove oil.  Lightly brown on both sides. 
  2. Roux: Add the oil to the pan and get the oil somewhat hot.  Add the flour a little at and time and blend into the oil.  The flour should bubble.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Keep stirring the roux every 30 seconds until it becomes a dark oak color.  If the roux burns you will need to toss it and start over.  I use a flat edge wooden spatula with a 7” handle to stir and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  3. Trinity:  When the roux is the correct color add the Trinity.  Sauté the Trinity low and slow as not to burn the roux until the onions become fairly translucent (~5 minutes). 
  4. Gravy:  Add the duck stock a bit at a time stirring to create a thick gravy.  The stock is heavenly.  Because I smoked the duck in half of its initial cooking process there is a hint of smoky flavor.  If you need more stock, you can always add a little chicken broth. 
  5. Add the rest of the ingredient.  Bring to a slight boil, then simmer 50 minutes or so.
  6. Serve on a small bed of rice.  Add a little Tabasco. 

Meat alternatives can be chicken, turkey and Kielbasa sausage. 


Smoked Crispy Duck in Apple wood with Bigarade Sauce and Gravy

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 5 1/2- to 6-pound Peking duck, trimmed of excess fat—necks, gizzards and hearts reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed but not peeled
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
5 navel oranges
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  1. Prepare the duck.  Rinse and dry.  Cut out the wishbone from the neck opening.  Leave the duck on a rack in a pan in the frig over night to dry and drain.
  2. Chop one orange, small onion, 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk (mirepoix).  Salt the cavity of the duck.  Fill the cavity with fresh rosemary and the mirepoix.
  3. Cut a 22-inch length of cooking string.  Fold the tail into the cavity and tie the sting across the back of the legs over the tail to close the cavity.  With the remain two ends of the string bring over the wing elbow, flip the duck over, pull the neck skin on the belly and tie the string to hold the skin and the wings in place.  Take a sausage poker and poke holes in the skin of the duck top, sides, and bottom.  Sprinkle kosher salt over the duck with pepper and leave the duck at room temp.  The salt will begin to remove water from the duck. Paint olive oil on the skin of the duck.
  4. In a large roasting pan cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.  This keeps the pan clean when placed in the smoker.  Add the rest of the mirepoix to the bottom of the pan and pour in one cup of dry white wine.  Add the rack and place the duck on the rack.  Get the smoker hot to 300°.  Add the apple wood in a smoker box and place on coals.  Put the duck in the smoker for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.  After an hour on the smoker, place in the oven and cook ~30 minutes per pound.  A 7 Lb. duck will take around 3.5 hours to cook, this includes the time spent in the smoker.  Before removing, check the crispiness of the skin and the internal temps of the breast and the leg.  The duck will cook at different rates.  The legs will take longer.  Internal temp of thigh should be at least 160° and the breast will be 155°.  Test the leg by moving it back and forth to see if starts to separate at the joint. 
  6. While duck is in the oven make the gravy and the Bigarade Sauce. 
  7. Gravy – In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the hearts, gizzards, wing ends and neck and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until richly browned, 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, 1 small bay leaf and thyme and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Then gradually stir in the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing on the solids.  Add oil to the pan and stir in the flour, then add the sauce until you get a thick gravy.  Turn off heat and cover.
  8. Bigarade Sauce – In a medium saucepan, boil the sugar and vinegar over moderately high heat until the syrup is a pale caramel color, 4 minutes. Gradually add the 1 cup of orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the Grand Marnier and remove from the heat. Swirl in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Remove from heat and pour in a glass measuring cup.
  9. In a separate small bowl add the Bigarade Sauce.  Pour the gravy in a gravy boat.  This gives a chance to pour gravy on any stuffing while also allowing to dip the duck into the Bigarade without blending the two together. 
  10. Cut the breast and serve with the crispy skin.  The rest of the duck can be cut up and served separately. 
  11. After eating save the duck carcass and the left over duck so it can be used in a duck gumbo at a later date.

As of 11/26/21

Thai Spicy Curry Noodle Soup

1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 deboned chicken thighs (~1 lb.), skin fried cut into 1-inch chunks*
1 TBSP Garlic, run through a small grater
1 TBSP fresh Galanga or Ginger, run through a small grater
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, thinly diced
1 small shallot, thinly diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup cubed eggplant, salted and sweat, then rinsed**
1 green Serrano pepper chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 (13.5-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar or Shoaxing Wine
¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
Cilantro for garnish
2 slices of lime

*Boneless Chicken Thigh – trim the skin.  Slice the meat above the bone on the back side.  With poultry shears cut the knuckles.  Remove the final small piece of bone.  I use a sharp curved boning knife. 

** Eggplant salted and sweat, then rinsed.  Each year I grow Eggplant.  Cut several slices.  Add salt to both surfaces to sweat the eggplant to remove the bitterness. Then rinse in cold water to remove the salt.

Salt and pepper chicken.  Brown in veg oil.  Then fry the chicken skin side up for 3 minutes then skin side down for three minutes.  This releases fat from the skin.  Remove the skin.  Cut chicken into cubes.

Add onion, shallot, red bell pepper, garlic and galanga (or ginger).  Sauté ~2 minutes on medium low.   Add a dash of Shoaxing Wine to deglaze the pan.  Add the red curry and stir in and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the can of coconut milk.  Use that can to fill it with chicken broth and add that. 

Add the chicken, eggplant, Serrano pepper and scallions.  Bring it a nice gentle boil.  Reduce about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile boil the noodles separately 12 minutes.  I once tried cooking the noodles in the soup, but the soup got too thick from the starch and the flavor was reduced from the boiling. 

Add the noodles, Thai basil, soy sauce, Shoaxing Wine, fish sauce to the pot. Stir.  Cook covered another 5 to 10 minutes on gentle boil.  Serve in a bowl with slices of lime and cilantro.


Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)

DSC_0051(click on pics to enlarge)

(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal shank. However, veal shank can be expensive or impossible to find. Since the meat will cook for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has a place in this dish.

Serves 2

2 beef shanks (or veal if available)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce or puree. (I make my own each year from scratch and freeze)
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Salt and pepper
Meat broth as needed (I use veal stock when available but chicken broth works fine also.)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano or thyme
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
(Chop all the herbs and garlic.  Mix everything in a bowl.) 

Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.  The shank should be served whole with the bone in but I also find it better to cut it up in squares and serve the bone along with it.  It makes it easier to manage on the plate.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid (Dutch oven) in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.  An alternative is to simmer on top of the stove for nearly 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat tender.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.

600 calories for 8 oz. meat, 24g carbs.

As of 10/31/21

English Bangers

(Click on pics to enlarge)

This is a Cumberland style banger owing to the mix of seasonings. 

I use 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder with plenty of fat. Run through the meat grinder on the largest blade. Put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes and then grind again through a small die.

Rusk (Bread Crumbs)
I made rusk from scratch with baking powder and no yeast.  Using rusk is the traditional way of making bangers.  However, a coarse panko can also be used.  The purpose for the rusk is to bind the meat and fat and retain the juices in the sausage.

Rusk Recipe
135 gr. flour
80 ml. cold water
1.5 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt

Mix all in a bowl and form a dough ball. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch. In 450° oven bake 10 minutes. Slice the dough in ½ lengths, lower the over to 375° another 10 minutes. If they aren’t dry enough bake another 5 minutes on 275°. Run bread through a food processor grating blade and then the processor blade to make the rusk fine.

36″ of casings per pound, Add the rusk 45 g. per pound and 3.5 tsp of seasoning per pound to the meat in a KitchenAid mixing bowl with the meat and 67 g. of water per pound. Mix one pound at a time for 3 minutes and then by hand until the meat gets like a stringy pate. Place it in a 1 Qt. freezer bag and leave in the frig overnight.

Sausage Casings
Standard 32-35 hog casings packed in salt.  Two casings covered three lbs. of pork.  Soak the casings in cold water and change out the water several times.  They should soak at least an hour. 

In a jar mix these seasonings.  Use 3.5 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
4 tsp. sea salt
3 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. mace
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

You will have extra but it is better to have more to adjust the taste the next day during the second mix.

Stuff the casings and then twist the stuffed casings into sausage lengths ~4 inches.  Place them in the frig overnight.  They need a baste in the seasonings overnight and maintain the form of the casing.

Cooking Bangers

I used a corn holder to poke 6-to-8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Either slowly boil then fry or slowly fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 30 minutes at 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 10/12/2021