Friday, March 8, 2013

The Second Day

The pieces and parts, including the skin and fat, from Wednesday's ducks were our focus on Thursday. Christiane made a rub of coarse salt, freshly ground pepper and a variety of fresh and dried herbs which we rubbed over all the duck parts on Wednesday before we called it a day. The first thing we did on Thursday was to wipe it off the pieces and pat them dry.

Duck parts
Some of the fat and skin
Jean-Paul took a big pan of the fat and skin to the garage and began melting it on a small gas stove. While the fat was rendering, we stuffed the skin of the neck with a pork mixture seasoned with a splash of cognac and a splash of Armagnac. Then we tied off one end and stitched the other closed with waxed string. Once again, Greg's surgical skills shone brightly as he 'sutured' the neck...

Once the fat was melted, all the parts including the stripped carcasses were cooked for an hour and a half. We returned at noon to put them all in jars. Christiane added 2 ladles of melted fat to each jar, we sealed them, and they went into the big processing pot to process for another hour.
Christiane moves so fast it's hard to get a photo of her in action without a blur!
The jars are wrapped/padded with dishcloths to keep them from rattling, and some flat stones are placed on top to keep them from floating.
Jean-Paul filling the big processing pot with water.
I picked up my jars today. The three large ones hold the stuffed neck, the legs, and one has mixed pieces...wings, gizzard and parts of the back. Two of the small jars are duck fat for use in frying potatoes, vegetables and meat. The top small jar is pate. I also have a small jar of fritons in the 'fridge. Fritons are bits of duck and some fat that Christiane skimmed out of the melted fat pot and put through a food processor. It's used like pate to spread on bread or crackers.

I have one more piece of the 'doing ducks' story to share. That's for tomorrow, so please come back!


  1. really enjoying reading this - very interesting - I have made my own confit duck legs before but only to use fairly quickly - you are lucky to have a neighbour who is keen to help you learn

  2. Christiane is so generous with herself! And she's a great teacher.