Every year for Thanksgiving I roast a whole duck. And then, without much thought, the duck carcass gets discarded. But this year, it finally dawned on me to make duck stock from the leftover bones. Deliciously rich, luscious stock. Oh, and don’t forget to strain all that heavenly rendered duck fat from your roasted bird. Duck rillette (a rustic pâté made from meat poached in it’s own fat), anyone?
Making homemade stock is time consuming. However, the process entails very little “hands on” work. Not sure why I feel the need to point this out anytime a dish takes more than 30 minutes or so to make. How did a seemingly arbitrary duration (i.e., 30 minutes) become the threshold for how much time one should devote to preparing a dish. As for anything requiring more than 30 minutes, well, for some, its’s too much work, too time consuming, why bother?
You should bother, because the payoff is BIG. Not to mention, delicious. Not to mention, you’re literally throwing money away if you discard those bones. You’ll be amazed how a few ingredients can be transformed into the most heavenly of flavors.
You’ll never want to go near those boxed stocks/broths again. Unlike the flat, tasteless store-bought stocks, homemade stock has depth of flavor. It’s intensely flavored. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s fundamental. It’s the basis to many a memorable dish. Homemade stock is your secret weapon in the kitchen.
Beef bones, lamb bones, chicken bones, fish bones, shrimp shells, vegetable scraps, leftover Parmesan rinds, etc., all make great stock.
Now that you have homemade stock, it’s time to make soup. Duck Ramen is on tonight’s menu.
Slurp away (your winter blues)!
Making duck stock is as easy as this:
First, I roasted the bones. Roasting the bones yields a darker, more flavorful stock. Simply place the bones in a roasting pan with carrot, onion, celery, shallot, garlic, and herbs, and roast for a good hour or so, until the bones are well-browned. Next, take the roasted bones, put them in a big stock pot with water and fresh herbs, and let them simmer away for a good two hours until you have the most flavorful, heavenly stock.
Strain. Refrigerate overnight (skim off the fat from the top). Use right away or freeze for a later date. You can cook down and concentrate the stock, and freeze in ice-cube trays for easy storage and use.
The next day, I reheated the stock and infused it with lemongrass, ginger, and star anise for my duck ramen soup.
Adapted from New York Times
makes about 1 quart stock
1 (5-7 pound) duck carcass and neck
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, cut in half
1 large carrot, sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 celery ribs, sliced into 1-inch chunks
1 bay leaf
several sprigs of parsley
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F. Put the duck carcass, garlic, thyme, shallot, onion, carrot, and celery in a roasting pan. Roast, turning every now and then, until well-browned all over, about one hour.
Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a large stock pot. Pour off any rendered duck fat and reserve. Add the bay leaf, parsley, and 10 cups of water to the stockpot. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook, skimming and discarding any foam that floats to the top, for two hours. Cool slightly and strain. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove from the refrigerator and remove the layer of fat that has accumulated on top.
Duck Ramen Broth
For 2 servings
Duck Stock (from above)
2 stalks lemongrass
2 star anise
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
Slice off the very bottom of the lemongrass stalks and the tops of the lemongrass, so that you have 3-4″ pieces. Peel off any dried out layers. Slice the lemongrass in half lengthwise. Slightly bash the lemongrass with a rolling pin to help release some of its aromatic oils.
Pour the duck stock into a pot. Add the lemongrass, ginger, and star anise. Heat until warmed through. Add the toppings.
2 Duck breasts, sliced
2 Soft-boiled duck eggs
Baby bok choy
Toasted nori strips
Green onions/scallions, thinly sliced
Ramen noodles (cooked, according to package instructions)
Garlic and Togarashi Oil
Garlic and Togarashi Oil
2 small shallots, finely minced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch of seas salt
1/4 cup mild tasting olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons Schichimi Togarashi (Japanese seven spice)
Combine the minced shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, and oil in a small pot. Set over low heat. Slowly cook, stirring periodically, until the garlic has softened and lightly browned, 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the togarashi. Stir. Let sit for a few hours or overnight.