Ducks are a truly wonderful creature, right up there with pigs in my book. I've been meaning to roast a duck forever, and last night I finally got around to it.
This duck came from my local Asian grocery. It seemed a little small (very different from the plump European style duck that I'm more accustomed to) but in my mind it seemed perfect for two people.
The cavity of my duck was stuffed with all sorts of lovely giblets; a nice big neck, a couple gizzards, heart and liver. Some of those bits are destined for duck soup, but the liver is getting marinated then sauteed in duck fat as a special treat.
Simple is the way to go when roasting a duck. Poke holes in the skin to allow the fat to drip out, and use more salt than it looks like you probably need.
Into a waiting 325 degree oven, which I checked every 15-20 minutes. Once it started to brown I made a quick glaze (honey, sriracha, soy) and brushed it all over. The duck went back into a now 425 degree oven to finish crisping.
I served just the breast, which to be honest was not enough. The breast was thin, and not quite juicy enough, and the skin was not the desired level of crisp.
Alongside some sticky rice, steamed bok ckoy and some daikon sprouts it was a pretty good dinner. Definitely room for improvement, which is never a bad thing because that means there is more duck in my future.
Over the weekend we had a beer can chicken, that old camping recipe where you stick a tall boy of beer up the chickens rear and cook it standing up. We weren't camping so our bird went in the oven not the grill but it was delicious nonetheless.
Chicken about to go in the oven.
You can just see the beer can poking out of the chicken's bum. Before we stuffed the beer into the chicken we removed that weird paper bag filled with the chickens giblets. Generally the neck, a heart, liver and sometimes lungs. We did not make gravy so now I've got a pouch full of the insides of one chicken, and I'm not sure what one does with a single chickens worth of giblets.
For the sake of full disclosure it's really hot here in Boston (and there is no AC in my apartment) so just the idea of turning on the stove makes me break into a sweat. I'm also leaving for Toronto tomorrow morning so it's looking like my giblets are going into the freezer along side the leftover bones (being saved for stock) and the huge pile of leftover meat we didn't manage to eat.
I'm still looking for some inspiration. Ross wants to throw all the giblets into the stock, and a friend on Twitter suggested making gravy. The gravy is sounding like a good idea. I can use the chicken meat and giblet gravy to make my favorite poutine with shredded chicken and peas when I get back from Canada. My other idea was to try and make dirty rice again. Make a quick stock with the neck, take off the meat and fry it up with the rest of the giblets to add body to the rice.
If anyone has any creative ideas for what to do with a one chicken's worth of giblets I'd love to know. If I like your suggestion I'll make it when I get back from Canada, and if no one is feeling creative I'll see where my whims take me.
"using virtually the entirety of any plant or animal"