Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Duck, Ginger and Orange Soup

Oh the joys of moving house - boxes everywhere, days spent packing and unpacking, trying to squeeze everything you own into the smallest space possible and then realising you accidentally packed the cat at the bottom of the box...

Yes I'm moving house, and one task that I have had to do is to empty the freezer in order that it can have it's once a decade defrosting before the move it.  It has turned up all sorts of fun things, like random bags of unidentified frozen herbs, Tupperware full of goodness-knows-what and the remains of a duck.

It was this bird that prompted today's soup.  The rest of the duck was eaten as part of Mrs Soup's birthday celebration - regular readers will remember I roasted it upside down - but as we never knowingly waste food, the rest of it was frozen for later.

Now, as I'm very un-organised, I forgot to defrost the duck in enough time, so to speed up the process, I hacked the frozen carcass into chunks.  When I had thawed them and put them in the pan, I noticed that the knife I had used to cut it up with had broken, and a tiny but pointy shard of steel had come off and was, presumably, in the soup somewhere, just waiting to shred someones insides like a Jagged Metal Krusty-O (Simpsons reference).  I was pretty sure that, having sieved the stock and shredded the meat with my fingers, the knife fragment hadn't had it to the bowls I served, but it still made for an interesting dining experience...

Anyway, on with the soup...

1 Duck
1 Orange
60ml Sherry
6 Large Cabbage leaves
Large Piece Fresh Finger
2 Star Anise
1tbsp Dried Mushrooms
1 Large Carrot
1 Large Onion
10 Pepper Corns
2 Bay Leaves

1.  Roast your duck.  I found that Hugh FW had all the answers when it came to doing this, so I'll leave you in his capable hands (But remember not to roast it upside down)

2.  Let the roast cool down then strip off the meat and save for later.

3.  Place the carcass, and the drippings form the roasting tray in a large pot, with a roughly chopped carrot, onion, the pepper corns and bay leaves, then add 2 litres of water.  Bring the pan to a boil and then simmer for 3 hours.

4.  Let the pan cool and then strain the liquid, removing all the bits of duck carcass and the vegetables.  At this point, you should try to skim off as much of the fat from the top of the stock, or even leave it in the fridge overnight, so the fat sets and can be removed easily (Don't throw it away as duck fat is amazing and can be used to make roast potatoes even more tasty...)

5. Heat up the stock, and add the sherry, dried mushrooms, star anise and the juice and zest of the orange.  Simmer the soup for 45 minutes.

6. Shred the duck meat - how much you want to put in is up to you.  A good sized duck should have enough meat for the soup and something else as well - and the cabbage leaves and stir them in about 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

1 comment: