Like I said yesterday: Duck is better than bacon, and if I didn't prove it to you yesterday, I will today with Duck Leftovers: Duck Soup Stock, Duck Fat, & Cracklins. But first, a story:
BBQ'd Hot Tub Bacon
A while ago I was visiting a buddy who lives in an apartment complex that has quite a few young adults, college students and the like. We were in the hot tub with 5 other people when we smelled someone BBQing. It smelled amazing! But we couldn't figure out what it was. Someone said bacon (it wasn't), and suddenly we all needed bacon.
We looked around the hot tub asking who had some in their apartments. One guy had his phone with him and texted his roommate, a fantastic young woman who is a vegetarian. Or vegan. He asked her to bring down the bacon he had in the freezer and a cookie sheet so we could cook it on the BBQ. She thought we were joking, but when we called her and talked to her, my response to “Are you serious?” was, “Deadly serious!” She brought it down along with paper towels, a fork, and a bowl (all things that had escaped our bacon-fiending minds). And she brought her roommate drinks! What a champ!
So we have this frozen package of bacon and utensils and hunger and a hot tub. Obviously, we needed to thaw it out in the hot tub…
Minutes later I was nominated to cook so I got out and started at it. So it's 9:40 pm and the hot tub closes in 20 minutes, and by the time the BBQ got heated up it was just about time to get kicked out by security. Was still 10 minutes out by the time we got kicked out of the hot tub, but he let us finish cooking. Half of the crew left and we were down to my buddy, the two roommates. and myself, and since the roommate didn't eat meat the three of us got to split the whole thing.
We ate inside while dripping in our bathing suits and playing one of the worst games of pool I've played in my life. Still fun though. And we had hot tub bacon. Hot tub cooking. I think we're onto something here…. I Googled “Hot Tub Recipe Books” and shockingly there aren't any. Yet.
Duck Leftovers: Duck Soup Stock, Duck Fat, & Cracklins
Back to the duck…
So we've just enjoyed an amazing roasted duck meal, and we're now left with this carcass of bones and scraps of fat and skin – and the fat drippings from the pan. Time to make some more magic!
BTW have you used duck fat as a cooking fat? It is amazing. Duck fat brings with it a ton of amazing flavor. Try cooking your eggs in duck fat. You can buy some from some grocery stores, or butcher stores, if you don't want to make your own.
After finishing off your duck dinner, the magic isn't close to being done! Like I said “Duck is better than bacon,” but since you've eaten all the duck meat, the next best thing to use in the is bacon. It's a beautiful combination!
- 1 duck carcass and any uneaten organs
- 1 package of sugar-free bacon (cut into 1/2 inch squares)
- 2 cups carrots (peeled & chopped)
- 1 cup parsnips (peeled & chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
- 1–2 large onions (chopped) or 1 1/2 cups pearl onions (skinned)
- 1 head broccoli (chopped)
- 1 medium zucchini (1/4 inch slices)
- 2 cups bok choy (chopped)
- 3–5 Bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns
- salt to taste
- In large soup pot cover Bay leaves, peppercorns, duck carcass & organs, and ALL scraps from other vegetables (onions, carrot, & parsnip skins, bok choy bases, and other ends, and any other vegetable scraps if you're like me and keep them in the freezer for this reason) with water. Fill so there are a few inches of water above solid ingredients.
- Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. Add more water periodically if needed. Let simmer for at least 3 hours. (OR – if you have an Instant Pot, use this method to cook in 45 minutes)
- Take off heat and strain into another large pot (or two if needed).
- Voila! Duck stock. Much more flavorful than chicken stock and usable in all the same places.
Duck, Vegetable, Bacon Soup
- Pour the stock back into soup pot and return to a simmer.
- Add carrots and celery.
- Cook bacon pieces – remove from heat before crispy. Add to pot.
- Simmer for 30 minutes
- Add onions, mushrooms, and parsnips. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Add bok choy, zucchini, and broccoli and simmer until cooked (5-10 minutes).
- Salt to taste.
- Prep Time: 3 hours (to make duck stock)
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
Duck drippings and leftover skin, ready to render.Print
More magic from that tasty bird. Crispy duck cracklins (skin) have all the concentrated flavor of the meal from the night before and are great on soup, salads, or as finger food.
- leftover duck fat and skin
- 1/4 cup water
- Cut duck skin into pieces approximately 1 inch-sized.
- Add all ingredients to a wide-based heavy-bottomed pan.
- Heat on lowest setting while partially covered. As the oil heats the water will sputter and evaporate. The skin will start to brown and crisp. This make take between 1-3 hours, so stay close (see my burned version below). Make the duck soup while doing this.
- When the skin is crispy remove with slotted spoon to paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Sprinkle with salt (if not already salty from duck preparation.
- For clear clean duck fat, strain with cheesecloth. Using a metal strainer is fine too, you'll just have some sediment.
- Store in refrigerator for months (if you can avoid using it that quickly). Great for roasting vegetables, cooking omelettes, cooking yam fries or licking off skin…
- Cook Time: 1-3 hours
- Category: Appies
- Method: stove-top