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Posts Tagged ‘Duck’

Lesson 27 Duck and peasThis is the last demonstration in the course where we will mimic the Chef’s creation in our practical.   It’s tragic that the garnishes are so genuinely ugly and tasteless.  Sorry but you must know the truth, cep flan is quite disgusting and the pea puree looks like it came out of a baby bottom.  Cruel!

Let’s focus on the positively gorgeous little duckling which was cooked in two ways, the legs braised and the breasts roasted.  A great idea to use one protein but deliver two textures on the plate.  This could easily translate to chicken or guinea fowl with equally delicious results.

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“Duck is tricky – I love to eat it, but preparing it is a bit gruesome.  We learned that game birds, including duck, meet their demise via strangulation. Thus when you are preparing a duck this means it will be a bloody affair as the blood stays in the bird.  This is unlike a chicken where the bird is beheaded and bled out.  A logical difference, dark meat on the duck; white meat on the chicken.   Us city folk never think of these things while doing our weekly shopping.

“Salmis” is a method of cooking a duck where the breasts are to remain pink and the thighs and drumsticks are braised in a sauce until tender.   The trick is to sauté the whole duck first to brown or crisp the skin in “graisse du canard” (duck fat) and then roasted briefly in the oven for 15 min at 180 C.

The duck is then portioned while still hot with the breasts being set aside rare and the thighs and drumsticks deboned and then tied into neat parcels called “jambonettes’.   The jambonettes are then braised in a sauce made of the duck bones from the carcass, cognac, white wine and aromatic vegetables.

Our ducks had not really been cleanly gutted which meant we had to get our hands inside the duck and get a bit dirty.  It is somewhat like a bad horror movie moment to pull you blood stained hand out of a bird, but I am becoming much more clinical about the whole thing.  The bird’s dead already so what more harm am I going to do to it?  It’s certainly not going to challenge me when I rip out its heart or lungs so why be squeamish?  Eww.

“My classmates Renata and Lan – serial killers or duck enthusiasts?”

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