Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snap, Crackle, Quack!!

No, it's not a misguided Ricies commercial.  It is the next best thing for those who want to celebrate lard.  In a world of ever present fitness fanatics, Ab machines a plenty, and guilty gym memberships it's nice to have something to turn to when you really want to rebel.

I'm sure we've all had our experiences with Pork Crackling.  Friends and even family can become vehement enemies when a nicely roasted joint of pork comes out of the oven.  Suddenly everybody wants to carve.  Those 15 minutes waiting while the meat rests are laden with anticipation.  In my house no one is allowed in the kitchen during this period for fear of crackling thieves.  It's got to the point where equal crackling distribution almost requires an independent watchdog and flying in Jimmy Carter to oversee the negotiations.

Well now there's a new type of crackling in town.  Duck Crackling!

Now the thing with a whole duck is that it's a bit different to that clucking hen we're all used to cooking.  Ducks are a bit more agile.  Not content with roosting, scratching and pecking their way into early retirement the ducks active lifestyle results in a body shape with meat in all the right places....for movement that is.  Take away the breasts and the legs and all your left with is....well, a very lean carcass.

The one part of the duck which is not lean however is the skin.  Needing to keep themselves warm and dry as they saunter around the local pond looking for your stale bread crumbs a ducks skin has a decent layer of fat.  Wanting to extract the fat I searched through the internet for the best method and was delighted to find that not only could I easily extract the fat from my leftover duck bits, I could also create some Duck crackling!

Having already used the breasts and legs for other recipes I took my leftover carcass and cut off all the skin I could find.  It's best not to use the part around the neck as it doesn't have enough of a layer of fat to work.  Cut the skin into small chunks and place into a saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water.

Put onto a medium heat. And let it bubble slowly away.  What will happen is the fat will come out of the skin while the water evaporates.  After about 20 minutes you will be left with crisp bits of skin, no water, and all the extracted duck fat.

Remove the duck crackling from the pan and place onto paper towels to soak up the extra fat.  Sprinkle with salt and then fact covet these little morsels.  You'll feel wrong eating the first few, and you'll probably want to stop, but chances are you won't, chances are you'll be finding more duck recipes so you can wind up with another carcass and another bowl of juicy, crunchy duck bits.

With the fat, strain into a bowl and allow to cool down before covering with cling film and placing in the fridge.  I'm going to use this fat to make some gorgeous roast potatoes tomorrow night so will let you know how I get on.

1 comment:

  1. Lard, glorious lard!
    We're anxious to try it.
    Three banquets a day --
    Our favourite diet!

    Sorry for breaking into song like that, don't know what came over me...

    If you have an extra tsp of fat, try making some popcorn with it! muhahahaha!!!!