The duck was the most intimidating dish of the Spring Break Cookbook Challenge. The one I almost took off the list by fear of messing it up. When I told my husband I was hesitant about making the duck, he responded “Isn’t the whole point to challenge yourself and try to make dishes you aren’t familiar with?”. Point taken.
Canard à la Québécoise, from La Cuisine Raisonnée
This book was a Christmas gift from my parents, for Christmas 2014. This book is a modern edition of a book originally written in 1926. It was a cooking manual for young wives, students, and families. The recipes were meant to be simple and pretty frugal. It is filled with traditional Quebec dishes. Although I had not yet cooked anything from the book, I had spent a lot of time going through the old-time pictures and reading all the tips and tricks offered by the authors.
When I opened the duck, I made the loudest gagging sound. My husband who was on a work call didn’t appreciate but I sincerely couldn’t help it. I knew I would find different things inside the duck (liver, etc.) but the neck is what took me by surprise. I still don’t like to think about it. Things got better after that step…
The recipe was very simple. I could even say too simple. Parts of the recipes or ingredients were a bit vague. I had to guess a few steps and quantities. Of course, as pictured above, Fattie was more than happy to keep an eye on the stove while the duck was cooking. I have the best sous-chef.
I was very worried to serve raw duck so I might have overcooked it a bit. I thought it was still very good. I made a quick gravy with the tasty cooking juices. Served with green beans and French bread, this looked like a pretty typical Quebec dish indeed (despite the fact that I never ate duck growing up).
I was very happy with the results but what I am especially proud of was my use of the leftovers. After taking deboning the duck, I left the carcass simmering all night to make duck broth. Then, the following morning, I decided to make my take on chicken noodle soup…
Duck Noodle & Kale Soup
Similarly to the cookbook I used to make the duck, this soup recipe doesn’t have good measurements. Oh well…I just feel like you can’t really go wrong when adding up these ingredients…
- Homemade Duck Broth (made with duck carcass, simmering over night)
- Pumpkin Chopped Noodles (what I happened to have in the freezer)
- Duck Meat, chopped (taken from the bird the night before)
- Kale, chopped
- Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Spring onions
- Olive oil or butter
- In the bottom of a pan, on medium heat, put in butter (or oil) and cook the garlic until golden and fragrant.
- Add the mushroom and duck meat and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the noodles and kale. Follow the cooking time for the noodles.
- Serve with spring onions sprinkled on top.
This was such a tasty dish. I even kept some in the freezer to share with my mom when she will visit. You could certainly had more seasoning but I thought the duck flavors were rich enough on their own.