Monday, 8 February 2016

Duck Broth with Cellophane Noodles

After you have roasted your duck, and eaten the breasts, and set aside the legs for Pulled Duck Sandwiches, you have a carcass left, as well as a couple of wings, and the bits of meat still clinging to it. These will make a meal, as long as you have not been too efficient in the removal of the breasts and legs. Pro-tip: efficiency is was inefficient, if you want to make this meal. Now though; now is the time to get efficient.

Tear every bit of meat that you can from the carcass and wings, and set it aside in little chunks and shreds. There should be a cup to a cup and half, with luck, and skin definitely counts. Wrap these meat scraps up and keep them in the fridge until wanted, and proceed with making the broth. 

2 to 6 servings

1 to 1/2 cups duck meat shreds
the denuded carcass that supplied the above
all the fat and drippings accrued in the roasting of the duck
1 1/2 litres (6 cups) water
2 or 3 slices peeled fresh ginger
1 piece star anise
8 to 12 dry shiitake mushroom stems (optional)
2 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
300 grams cellophane noodles
2 to 3 cups prepared green vegetable of your choice
 - blanched or frozen snow peas, broccoli, bok choi, choi sum, etc. 

Put away the duck meat shreds removed from the carcass; they will not reappear until quite near to serving time.

Break up the carcass and put it in a pot where the water will cover them. Add the fat and drippings from the roasting pan, and the water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 or 3 hours. Add the seasoning elements, up to and including the shiitake stems if using, to simmer with the duck for the last hour. Top up with a little more water if it seems to be getting down below 4 cups worth. Strain the broth, discarding the solids, and set it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, or whenever you are ready to proceed, remove the cold solid fat carefully from the surface, removing any bits of stock that cling to it. I put it into a strainer and let it drain off back into the stock for about 10 minutes. Then, melt it and put it in a very clean (straight out of the dishwasher, ideally) glass storage jar. The easiest way to do this is put the drained bits of fat into the jar cold, and heat them gently in the microwave until melted. Cap the melted fat and keep it in the fridge for cooking with (once the jar is cool enough to go back in).

To serve, put the broth on to boil. As soon as it does so, add the cellophane noodles and your green vegetable. If raw, the veggie should be blanched (put the cut up pieces in a strainer and pour boiling water over them) first. If frozen, the veggie should be thawed. Cover and let the temperature come back up slowly. After about 5 minutes, the noodles should be cooked and the vegetable too.

Meanwhile, once the broth is on to heat, put the duck bits into a pan to heat. Add the bits of skin first; they will crisp up and render a little more fat. Add the rest of the duck bits and heat through.

Ladle the noodles and vegetables into serving bowls with the broth, and top with the hot duck bits.

Last year at this time I made Beet & Potato Salad.

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