Leia em PORTUGUÊS
Just a few days after this challenge was announced I was grocery shopping and couldn't resist buying a duck to experiment on the technique of braising, the theme of this challenge. I also did some research and learned a few things about cooking with duck, which I have already shared in my previous post. So I decided that I would do three different things with my duck.
First, I made the Perfect Duck Breast, quick and easy, not to mention delicious! For that, I cut up the duck and reserved the legs and carcass.
Second step was to make a duck stock using the carcass, because later on I would need it for braising.
And last, but not least, actually the reason why I bought the duck in the first place, I used the legs for my first braising experience.
There are many variations for braising, but generally it combines two different cooking methods: searing, which adds flavor and color, then gentle cooking in very low heat using stock or other liquid. This method is specially good for tough meats as the slow cooking process makes it very tender.
To Braise my duck, I followed this VIDEO suggested by Carol, our hostess. The result was delicious.
(Adapted from The Healthy Home Economist)
In a large pot I put the carcass of the duck. You may roast the bones if you wish for even better flavor (I didn't do that, but next time I will)
Then I added 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1/2 of a large onion, 1 large carrot, 1 stalk celery, all coarsely chopped, covered with water and let stand for 30 minutes.
Then, I turned on the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Then I lowered the heat to the tiniest flame possible and gently simmered for 6 hours.
I strained the stock into a heat resistant glass bowl and discarded the solids. After the stock cooled down, I refrigerated it so that the fat would solidify and make it easier to remove.
The result was a clean and nutritious stock.
And the fat was also kept in a clean glass jar for future use.
(Adapted from The Minimalist)
2 duck legs (I added the wings as well)
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 carrots
6 celery stalks
Season the duck legs with salt and pepper and put them, skin side down, in a skillet. Turn on the heat to medium.
Turn on the oven to preheat at 350°F (180°C).
After a while, the fat will begin to splatter, so if you don't want to have a hard time cleaning your kitchen, improvise some paper towels over a cookie cooling rack.
When the legs are browned, turn them over and sear for a minute or so and remove to a plate.
Remove excess fat from the skillet and leave just a little to cook the vegetables.
Add vegetables to the skillet and add some salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until they begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return the legs to the skillet, skin side up, and add enough stock to go halfway up the duck legs, but do not cover, this way the skin will remain crisp.
Let it come to a boil over high heat and transfer to the oven. If you are using a pan with plastic handle, transfer to an oven proof dish.
Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, until duck legs are tender. Serve immediately.
For more braised deliciousness created by my fellow Daring Cooks, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes and guidelines for this amazing challenge. A huge thank you to Carol, our hostess!