Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Gift of Duck

Yesterday, I got a surprise in the form of a Fedex box from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Inside were a couple of samples of Rillete de canard that I'd -in a very small way-  helped develop and two small and very beautiful dressed ducks.  I'll post on the ducks after I cook them.  In the meantime here is a press-release kind of thing that tells the story of the ducks.  -Bob dG

Oh, My Lola

This new duck has its chefs in a row

If it walks like a duck and tastes like a squab, then it's probably a Lola duck.
This new heritage breed of bird--created by Hudson Valley Foie Gras--is a cross between the white Pekin and the mallard. Unlike most ducks, which have a generous layer of fat under the skin, the Lola is lean but full of gamey flavors typically found only in wild birds.
And it's destined for the oven. At his new Great Neck, New York, restaurant (also called Lola), Hudson Valley Foie Gras co-founder Michael Ginor confits the duck legs, then glazes the rest of the bird with yuzu marmalade and roasts it.
At Chicago's Lockwood, chef Phillip Foss serves a modernist Lola duck a l'orange (pictured) as a frequent special. To preserve the natural flavor of the duck, he augments the rich caramelized-orange sauce with duck stock. Even the accompanying beans pick up the bird's flavor thanks to being tossed in rendered duck fat.
In New York, Corton chef Paul Liebrandt seasons the skin of the Lola duck with toasted sesame seeds and spicy Kashmiri pepper, then caramelizes the breast on a hot plancha, serving it with honey-and-turnip gelĂ©e.
Chef Richard Garcia of Tastings in Foxboro, Mass., uses the whole bird. He serves his Lola schniztel with duck cracklings and consommĂ© made from the duck's bones. But the most popular item on the menu is duck "ham," breast meat that Garcia smokes over fruitwood and serves hot on a charcuterie platter.


Jessika said...

Are these the ducks (and foie gras) that they are trying to ban?
Btw, I love duck so I'm envious.

Leah said...

I have never cooked duck. It resides along with okra and sweetbreads in the part of my brain reserved for hard to find ingredients with too many complex steps to master. At this point, I would most likely be able to cook them, if I could avoid the prerequisite anxiety attack. Any suggestions on a good place to start with duck?

Bob del Grosso said...

In a word: no. The ducks that are raised for foie gras are Moulard ducks, which are a cross of "Muscovy and Pekin" ducks. The ducks I got are Mallard and Pekin crosses.

The easiest way to learn duck, is to make stew or ragout. Cut the duck up the way you would cut up a chicken that you meant to stew. Salt, Pepper and brown the pieces in oil and draw off (And save) the fat that renders from the skin. Toss in a standard mire poix (large diced onions, carrot and celery) and cook until the vegetables soften. Splash in some red wine and few crushed bay leaves and maybe a handful of tomatoes. Cover and let simmer until the meat begins to fall apart. Take it off the fire and let it rest. Toss in a handful of chopped parsley and serve it with thick al dente pasta and wine that is dry and big.

cook eat FRET said...

ok, i'm ordering some of this. duck these days tastes like nothing to me. i miss the gamey flavor and now you've given me hope. and for this i will be forever grateful. i'll ask my personal chef to do it for me a l'orange. it's classic and reminds me of my misspent youth.

Jessika said...

I make duck confit all the time. You can use chicken too but duck yields the best result.

Bob: then what foie gras are they trying to ban?

Kevin said...

Just to pick nits with the PR, one can't create a "new" heritage breed. Nevertheless, I look forward to how it turns out.

BTW, last fall I made a canard au vin based on coq au vin but using duck legs - it was marvelous.

Natalie Sztern said...

Bob, I have been dying to make duck and never have. I don't want to stew it and if you could post your recipe it would be the kick in the pants I need to get me a duck.

Would u believe i was the first in Montreal to serve Kosher duck at my son's bar...back in '99 and duck had just gotten through the ranks to be considered Kosher. My caterer had to ship it from somewhere cause local could not be used.

Even back then I was a 'foodie'

Bob del Grosso said...

The animal rights folks want all foie gras to be illegal. They don't seem to care where it comes from.

Bob del Grosso said...

I don't keep recipes for duck or most things that I cook that are not for retail sale. I mostly hate recipes and wait to decide how to cook something until I have a sense of what the thing is all about. Then, when I think that I understand what it is, I think about how I would like to prepare it.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself and your question.

If you want me to help you -and I am happy to help- find a recipe for duck that pleases you and I will gladly help you understand how to execute it.

Kosmos said...


-Desi Ghee, Butter Manufacturer-