Chicken Fried Duck

If anyone out there needs any free range, completely organic, chemical/hormone free eggs…I have what you need and I can deliver it to your door, depending on what neighborhood you live in.  Half a dozen is $2 plus $1 dollar for delivery and a dozen is $4 plus $1 for delivery.  I can throw in $1 for delivery and still make it worthwhile because I ride a scooter full-time and usually only fill up my 3/4 gallon tank once a week – which amounts to approximately $3 per week.  So far, with zero accidents, a hefty tolerance for sweat and amazing cold weather gear, it has been quite a payoff,  the scooting.  The proceeds go to breaking even on the chicken feed for our 7 ladies, so that we can all enjoy amazing natural eggs at no cost.  A note: we only get 35-50 eggs a week, so supplies are limited.

In any event, one of the cooler things about my egg delivery is that you never know what you are going to get when you knock at the door.  In this case, it happened to be my very best friend’s gun totin, duck hunting neighbor freshly arrived from a crisp and clear day of huntin quacker.  In no time at all he generously offers me two of his red-headed quarry and I call it even on the eggs, resulting in a very good deal indeed for both of us.  He would have been out hunting anyway because he loves it and he can only eat so much duck….I would own chickens regardless of feed costs, so why not part with my eggs in exchange?

The red-headed duck dinner goes like this…(prep is based on Ruth Reichl’s fried chicken recipe in her book Tender at the Bone, but with some changes – thanks to M.’s mom for forwarding me the recipe!).

Take your poor plucked duck carcass and debone.  You can YouTube how to debone fowl or just wing it like me (pun!).

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When you are done you should have three piles:

1) bones, bits and carcass

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2) wings with meat and bone attached and random pieces of meat that didn’t come off with the breast

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3) a large pile of breast meat (the breasts should come off of the bone in the form of two big chunks, one from each side).  Dice up each breast chunk into slightly larger than bite size pieces.

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Discard pile #1.  We like to bury any meat leftovers in the backyard to avoid it going to the landfill.  It sounds weird (it is) and the neighbors might give you the stinkeye for digging yet another small grave in your backyard, but its way less messy than meat composting.  Also, there’s nothing quite like trying to fend off 7 chickens who initially go nuts for the worms, but then abscond at light speed with parts of the carcass.  Do I need to tell you how CREEPY it is to watch a chicken run off gleefully with a still-feathered duck wing in its beak?

Take pile #2 and put it in your favorite White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt (whole milk, don’t you dare get the fat-free kind) to soak until cook-time, preferably overnight.

Pile no. 3 can be drenched in salt and then let sit for 2 hours.  After 2 hours, wash off the salt and plop it in garlic-jalapeno infused buttermilk  overnight.  The infusion is made by blending the jalapeno and garlic with the buttermilk – you’ll know its ready when the milk is a neon green 🙂

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When you are ready to cook, take out both sets of meat and drain off the respective yogurt and buttermilk.  It doesn’t have to be totally dry, just drained as well as possible.  Then coat each pile  generously with Tony Chacheri’s Cajun Seasoning.  Let sit (I like to let the meat get as close to room temp as possible for even cooking).  Then dredge the breast meat (pile #3) in pure cornstarch and fry in peanut or canola oil until crispy and done. When the breast meat is done, repeat the process with the wings and bits (pile #2).

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Try each piece repeatedly and remorselessly under the guise of “making sure its done”.  We aren’t very queasy about raw meat here so cook to your comfort level.  Let drain on a wire rack and then something that will soak up the oil.

Then tuck in with horseradish mashed potatoes and broccoli from your garden.  Enjoy!!!

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