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When the wife is away, ZenKimchi’s gonna play–in the kitchen.

EJ is spending some time with her family this week, and I have been using this as an opportunity to cook the foods I’m not allowed to cook/eat and do some experimentation in the kitchen.  I hadn’t roasted a duck in a few years, so I thought I’d take a crack at that.  I was further inspired by Chef Anna Kim’s suggestion that Korea’s omija berries have a similar flavor profile to cranberries.  In the past, I have had some success (and failures) with yuja tea “marmalade” as a poultry glaze–the stuff that has that orange-y Christmas taste.  So I wondered what these would taste like together on a nice fatty duck.

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I got a duck from a new local butcher.  As you can see, Donald hadn’t been totally cleaned/eviscerated.  Nice poop chute.

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After removing the duck’s anus (that’s a line you don’t hear every day), I reached inside the cavity to see what other goodies were left for me.  Looked like a heart, the remains of a liver and a trachea.  I haven’t yet found a culinary use for a trachea, but I put the heart and liver into a pot…

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Along with the fatty neck and trimmed wing tips.

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After adding around two tablespoons of water, I simmered it over the flame for two hours to render some fat for later.

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For the main part of the duck, I threw together a simple rub of sea salt, fresh black pepper and smoked paprika.

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Rubbed the duck and roasted it slowly.

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Took the duck out and let it rest before carving.
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I drained the pan drippings into my fat rendering pot, removed the innards and strained it all into a jar.  Normally I would have done something more with the heart, but I had a feeling it was on the gamey side, and I wasn’t in the mood for that.  In fact, I just put the duck in the refrigerator to eat the next evening.  Sometimes when you have to do a little extra butchering and dealing with innards, you don’t feel like eating the finished product.  At least I don’t.

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The next evening, I took out some duck meat and put it in the oven with some sliced mushrooms.  I made a sauce with the following ingredients:

  • Rendered Duck Fat
  • Yuja-Ginger Tea “Marmalade”
  • Omija Berry Extract
  • White Wine
  • Flour
  • Salt and Pepper

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I melted a tablespoon of fat and added some flour.  In hindsight, I should have added less.  I stirred vigorously until it mixed and started changing color.

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I then added around three tablespoons of Yuja-Ginger Tea, three tablespoons of Omija Extract and a cup of white wine.  Boiled to reduce.  Seasoned with salt and pepper.  It surprisingly turned out.

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Next up were the potatoes.  I had a regular potato and a “hobak” sweet potato.  Cleaned and sliced them around the width of french fries.

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Giant dollop of duck fat.  You know what’s coming next.

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White and sweet potatoes fried in duck fat.  Seasoned with salt and pepper.

Since I worked so much on this one, I thought I’d try to plate it a little nicely.  Still a clumsy sauce schmear, but anyway.  I layered the potatoes on the bottom, then the mushrooms, then a little bit of kimchi to combat the fattiness of the duck (ended up being a good match) and then some architecturally arranged duck meat.

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That was a great dinner, and the leftovers weren’t that bad either the next day.

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