Whether you spent the weekend celebrating the Chinese New Year or just spent it celebrating the beautiful weather, most of us are in need of some Monday morning quarterbacking, in regards to our eating and drinking plays that is...
The Supper Model, clearly hard at work...
So to make up for new years resolutions made and lost, try making my Duck Broth Miso Soup:
It's a lucky duck soup when made for family and friends- loaded with the good proteins from slowly cooked duck bones, vegetables, and spices this soup will get you back on track and remind you that the luckiest parts of life happen around the dinner table...
Cooking with The Supper Model and the Supper Mama
Making this soup involves constantly skimming off fat, leaving you with a delicious subtle flavor of a full winters meal, minus all those calories! Adding a tablespoon or so of white miso paste adds bean protein as well as the umami flavor: rich and meaty without ever being so!
Reintroduce healthy elements by shaving some carrot and scallions, adding a few Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles being easily digestible and gluten free), bean sprouts, and a nice bunch of fresh cilantro. And if you really need a meaty texture, add a few lightly sautéed mushrooms and you have yourself a clean healthy and hardy meal you can feel not good, but great about.
Minor Disclaimer: in order to get the bones to make this soup, you will have to roast and carve the duck- but that's the best part! Leave the meat for the men and others in your household and you'll have the entire family eating out of your hands. The crispy duck is delicious not only in traditional chinese pancakes, but show-stopping when warmed over tabouleh, couscous, or long grain rice pilaf.
So shhh! While you sip your cleansing and satisfying soup, your family will enjoy their sinful yet equally satisfying dinner. And all the while you've been a secretly sustainable chef...
Don't say I didn't warn you though: this soup is so tasty everyone will want to get their hands on a bowl.
Things could be worse right?
Lucky Duck Soup
Soup and Duck recipes adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter
makes enough for 4 dinner size soups, 6 appetizer. Duck can easily feed 6.
Roast Chinese Duck
1 large organic duck (check out D'ARTAGNAN for great local ducks shipped right to your door)
course sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 bunch cilantro stems
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 star anise
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 chinese 5 spice
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Clean and dry the duck with paper towel (removing innards). Trim off excess fat from around the neck and skin, save to render for duck fat or discard. (Removing it from the duck before roasting is important though so that the pan juices and late the soup will not be emulsified with fat and oil)
3. Put on latex gloves, and using a pairing knife, loosen the skin from the breast and use your fingers to lift and loosen the skin from the breast pushing your fingers and hand all over the breast, insuring not to pierce the breast meat. (The gloves insure that your nails do not tear the skin)
4. After the skin is loose, hold it taught and pierce the skin all around to make holes and slits, but be sure to not pierce the skin beneath. This will allow the fatty skin to render and become crispy later during roasting without shrinking the breast meat.
5. Bring a large pot of water to boil on stove and continue with the duck, so that the water will be ready when you are finished with the duck prep.
6. Season the duck inside the cavity and all around the skin with salt and pepper. Place the cilantro, onion, and star anise inside the cavity and tie up the legs. Place the seasoned duck in a large roasting tin, breast up. Combine the 5 spice and ground clove and season the top of the breast and legs with the spice mix. Pour the dark brown sugar into the tin around the duck but not on the duck itself.
7. Take the already boiled water and let stop boiling. Then pour the water immediately over the top of the duck and continue pouring until the water comes up to about 1 inch height around the duck in the roasting pan.
8. Cover the pan entirely with aluminum foil tightly and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, flip the duck over so the breast is on the bottom of the pan, cover again and bake for 1 additional hour.
9. Remove duck to a plate and let cool. When it is cool, cover the duck and refrigerate overnight if possible, but for several hours at the very least.
*You can now bring all the pan juices to boil over the stove, stirring up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan and let boil down for 20 minutes, skimming frequently to make a duck jus for serving and dressing. Reserve airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.
10. When the duck has been amply refrigerated, Heat the oven to 500 F. Roast the duck breast side up for 20 minutes. Flip the duck and roast for 10 minutes. Then flip once more and roast for 5 minutes and you should have nicely browned and crisp skin.
Let rest for 10 minutes before carving off all meat in slices. Reserve in airtight container for up to 48 hrs.
Now you are left with bones and a full duck carcass, prime ingredients for your duck broth....
obviously after all this work, you can wrap up the bones and carcass and keep in the fridge to make the soup the next day
Lucky Duck Soup
1 duck carcass
2 star anise, broken
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 bunch fresh cilantro, break stems or bunch in half to release flavors
1 white or yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 regular sized carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, washed and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 2 inches long, peeled and thickly/roughly sliced
1 small bundle soba noodles (if a large packet, only use half)
2-3 tablespoon white miso paste
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (about two bunches worth)
1 (another) bunch fresh cilantro, either chopped leaves and trimmed to use only the top of stems
Optional: small bunch of shaved carrot, wild mushrooms, bean sprouts, or julienned leeks to garnish
1. Take the duck carcass and wash off any excess oil or fat quickly and mainly using a paper towel. (If there are any cooked innards coating the bones, wash off). With a pair of kitchen shears and large sharp chef's knife or cleaver, chop up all bones especially the neck and back bone to about 1 inch pieces- this will impart the most flavor into your broth.
2. Place bones in a large tall stock pot. Add, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, cilantro, chopped onion, carrots, and celery, garlic, ginger. Add cold water, add enough to cover all ingredients well and healthy covering the bones +. This will take about 2 quarts.
3. Bring the stock to a quick boil of over high heat and reduce to heat to keep at a low simmer. Check frequently, removing the fat (or foam) by skimming it out with a skimming or shallow spoon. Place fat in a cup of warm water each time to clean spoon off before repeating. Simmer for about 1 hour and half. *Do not let over reduce though, so after 1 one hour taste and watch carefully as you may only need 10-15 minutes more.
4. Using a cheese cloth placed over a fine mesh strainer (or chinois) add 3-4 ice cubes to the center of the cloth lined strainer. Turn off the heat and pour the stock over the ice and let strain into a pot. Let cool to room temperature and place in the fridge to cool down completely, covered. When the stock is cold you may see a little layer of fat at the surface. Skim all of this off and you will have a very clear and solid stock.
5. Place the stock in sauce pot and heat. At the same time, bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil and cook to soba noodles to aldente, according to package directions (but probably no more than 6 minutes depending). Once the stock is quite hot but not boiling, add in the white miso in tablespoons, whisking the miso in and tasting after each addition as you may not need the entire amount. Season slightly with salt or pepper if needed, but the miso should bring everything together on its own.
6. Drain Soba noodles and add a small section to base of each bowl. Add mushrooms, if using, and pour in soup. Garnish with carrot, scallions, leeks, bean sprouts and cilantro.
Serve, sip, and savour....
Best of Luck!