Duck Fat

It is not possible for my local co-op to sell lard. They can’t buy it from their supplier. Instead they sell rendered duck fat. After cooking with it for several years I can say that duck fat is as close as you can get to lard. It cooks clean and makes wonderful pie crust. I’ve been very happy with it. If you can’t buy rendered duck fat, it is possible to make your own from a roasted duck. The fat pools into the bottom of the broiler pan and can be strained into a container when still hot. I get about a cup of fat from one duck.

Duck meat is fairly dry. So while it is possible to eat as is or add to casseroles I prefer to make it into breaded patties.

Simple Roast Duck Recipe

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

If necessary, cut off wing tips with poultry shears or a sharp knife. They sometimes burn. Remove and discard excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck inside and out. Prick skin all over with a sharp fork. Every inch or so. This makes the skin crispy. Don’t stab into the actual meat just through the skin and into the fat. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13- by 9- by 3-inch broiler pan and pour two cups boiling-hot water over duck (to tighten skin). Pour out any water from cavity into pan.

Roast duck, breast side up, after fifteen minutes turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove from oven turn duck over using 2 wooden spoons, and roast 45 minutes more. Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Continue to roast duck until skin is brown and crisp, about 45 minutes more (total roasting time: about 2 1/4 hours). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Poultry Patties

I found this recipe in “Quick From Scratch Chicken and Other Birds” it used ground meat and cooked it but I found that cook meat can be ‘ground’ in the blender quite easily. Making this a great way to use up leftover meat.

  • ½ cup bread crumbs plus more for breading (I use gluten free)
  • ¼ cup half and half or cream
  • 1 pound cooked duck or other poultry
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter room temperature

Place meat in blender with half and half and ½ cup bread crumbs and blend. In a medium sized bowl beat egg, pepper, and salt. Pour mixture out of blender into bowl place warm butter on top, fold the mixture till thoroughly combined. Place in freezer 10 minutes, pour more bread crumbs out onto a plate. Shape into patties and roll in bread crumbs. You can at this point put the formed patties into the refrigerator until you wish to cook them. Fry in butter on medium low heat for 3 min on each side.

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