So I bought a whole duck from my favourite poultry suppliers at the farmers market on Saturday. I have been very excited about it. I have only bought a whole duck on one other occasion and it turned out a not very successful Duck a L’orange. I hoped to come up with something better this time around. I had toyed with the idea of roasting it, but with only the two of us, I decided to break the bird down, in the same way I do with chickens, and keep the breast, marylands, wings and carcass for separate meals. Making it up as I went along, I chopped up the carcass so it would fit in my ‘jam’ (sized) pot and made a duck stock, much of which I converted into a duck and lentil soup for dinner. My partner described it as McOldSchool. I hope you like it!
Serves 3 (two of us and one left over bowl for lunch)
|1||teaspoon||dried orange peel|
|1/2||cup||French style green lentils|
|truffle oil to garnish (this is totally optional, I just thought it would be quite fancy-pants, but you could substitute walnut oil or almond oil to add something a little different)|
To make the stock, cleave the duck carcass so it fits in your saucepan. I chopped the neck, then halfway down the back, but went gently around the ribs to avoid any broken little bits of bone in the stock once the meat cooked. Remove the skin from the onion and garlic. Place the carcass in the pot with the onion, garlic, carrot, celery (broken or chopped only if you need it to better fit in the pot). Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and remove scum from the surface. Add peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, thyme, orange peel. Leave the stock to boil for a couple of hours, skimming off surface scum as required. (I left it bubbling away until the meat on the duck carcass was tender. I could tell this was the case when the skin on the neck came away easily.) Take the pot off the heat. Remove the carcass from the stock to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a separate saucepan with more than double the volume of water. Cook till tender, drain, rinse and divide into serving bowls. *
To serve: Gently pull the meat from the duck carcass and divide between the serving bowls. Slice the spring onion and add to the bowls. Strain a portion of the stock into a smaller saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot stock into the serving bowls and garnish with a drizzle of the truffle oil.
* Additional, optional step. I wanted some vegetables in my soup, so I chopped a little pumpkin and cooked it in the stock, adding it to my bowl before the duck and stock. At this point, I also sliced a few kale leaves and added them to the bowl, to be cooked by the hot stock upon serving.