Often while I’m cooking I also have a stockpot going. I feed it with bits and pieces of whatever I have at hand. It can be the end of a carrot, a head of a fish or bones from a piece of meat etc. My vegetable stock as described in the diagram, can be made just as shown or together with any kind of meat. The point is to use the parts of vegetables or meat that you normally don’t eat. However the ingredients must be fresh! With fish I would add some dill stalks and maybe lemon rinds.
I use my stocks to feed risotto, soups, cook beans in or to touch up stews. The use is really endless.
So we had duck this thanksgiving and I am really happy with how this recipe turned out.
(serves about 4 people)
one duck (about 5lb/ 2.5 kg)
2-3 teaspoons salt
2 lb small potatoes (for example fingerling), cut in small pieces
2 parsnips, cut in small pieces
prune and fig stuffing
6-10 dry figs
1 cup dry vermouth
for the stock (will be used to baste the duck and for the sauce)
duck neck and giblets
one small onion, sliced
one small carrot, sliced
small piece of celery (or what ever you have at hand)
½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
6 black pepper corns
The day before: Cut the figs and prunes into small pieces and soak them with dry vermouth overnight or at least for 6 hours.
About an hour before you roast the duck you need to prepare the stock. Take out the giblets and the neck from the duck. Sauté the giblets in a saucepan. When brown add the sliced onion, carrots and pour in the vermouth. Let it bubble and reduce for a couple minutes. Add thyme, sage and some salt. Cover with water and let simmer for about an hour. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
Just before you are ready to stuff the duck, chop the pear in small pieces. Add the pear and thyme to soaked fruit and blend together carefully. Wash the bird under running water. Rub the duck inside and out with lime. Rub on some salt and pepper. Fill the duck with the stuffing.
Put the duck on its side on a rack in a roasting pan. After 30 minutes in the oven @345°F(175°C), turn the bird on the other side and pour 1/2 – one cup of warm stock over the bird. Let it cook for another 30 minutes. Turn the bird facing up and place the potatoes and parsnips at the bottom of the pan. If you think there is too much fat at the bottom of the pan, you may take some out. However I really recommend keeping the fat for another occasion as it’s fabulous to fry potatoes in. Put the bird back into the oven and cook for about 45-60 minutes. The breast should be gorgeously brown and the legs loose. Take out the bird and let it rest for a about 15-20 minutes before carving.
Serve the duck and baked potatoes/ parsnips with the prune and fig stuffing, gravy, gherkins and cranberry sauce.