Tag Archives: duck fat

Pineapple Veggie Cauliflower “Rice” (Reprise)

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This isn’t really a new recipe, I just made some additions to an older one. Click the picture to go to the original. Other than using purple cauliflower instead of the yellow, I followed the recipe exactly. This time, I made a much larger….and by much larger I mean two huge batches of it. I also added an egg, onion, and used a mixture of duck fat and coconut oil (Mostly because I’m running out of duck fat, and I want to use it when making Paleo Stuffing for Thanksgiving. ) I probably could have been a little more liberal on the spices, since I was making such a big batch…but yum.  This is one of my favorite things to make. It’s probably one of the best side dishes ever. This was my first time using a food processor to chop everything. My Ninja Kitchen System is amazing. It took me literally, less than a minute each to chop my carrots, onions, broccoli, and make the cauliflower rice. Do yourselves a favor, and get a food processor….seriously.

To add the egg, once you are done sauteing the veggies, and before you put the cauliflower in, use a spoon to push everything off to the side, so that there is a bare space in the pan. Put a little coconut oil.  Crack an egg there, and break the yolk. Cover, and when it starts to become almost cooked, stir it in with everything. It should easily break into egg chunks, like you find in the Chinese food fried rice.

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The Joys of Roasting a Duck

Sometimes you discover recipes, or just general acts of doing things, and wonder to yourself why you hadn’t thought of doing it earlier. That’s sort of how I felt when I roasted a duck this weekend. Seriously, why haven’t I done this before….It’s so easy, and the rewards are endless.

I think, partially, I avoided it because the idea of cooking something bigger than a chicken seemed intimidating. Not to mention, duck isn’t your average white meat/dark meat poultry. I’ve cooked duck breasts before, seared to medium rare like a steak, and was comfortable with that, but I just never attempted a whole duck. Until now! Now keep in mind, roasting a duck does not give you breasts like searing does. Mine had some pink, and were moist and tender, but it’s a totally different animal.

I picked up my bird (weighing in at nearly 6 lbs)  at the end of last week, from the same poultry farm I get my chickens. It ran me somewhere between $4-5 a pound, which is not much more than chicken. I decided to make it on saturday, so I had it in the refrigerator until then. Up until this point, I didn’t have a proper roasting pan, or even a roasting rack. I had been roasting my chickens in a glass Pyrex pan, propped up with tinfoil, which worked great, but with the bigger bird, I thought it time to be legit. I picked up a basic roasting pan w/ rack for $15 on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond….and we were in business!

Now, you know me, I’m not one to follow recipes. But, with the exception of seasoning, I followed the prep and method from this blogger to a T. It worked great, so I really felt no need to mess with a good thing! [Click on any of the pictures of my finished bird, to click-through to the original blogger’s recipe, or click below ]

http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/02/11/the-best-way-to-roast-a-duck-hello-crispy-skin/

To season the bird, I sprinkled it with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme after scoring the fat, before putting it in the oven. Then I did the poke-flip every hour method she outlined. Remember, if you are going to put a glaze or something on at the end, strain the fat after the last hour, before putting the glaze or sauce on! I got almost 2 cups of glorious, glorious duck fat! I just strained it into a mason jar with a fine strainer/cheesecloth combo. It’s the best cooking stuff ever…. to discard it….it’s almost sacrilege!

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I seasoned my bird with a combination of salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and dried orange peel. After draining the fat at hour four, and roasting at the higher temperature for 10 minutes,  I splashed on some coconut aminos and roasted for a final 3-5 minutes more before letting it rest for 10 minutes. Following the hourly “Flip-Poke” method as outlined on the page, I had this beauty!

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Let me tell you…..Delicious! The four hours it takes to cook was so incredibly worth it. The meat was moist and flavorful, and getting all that duck fat out of the deal makes for some serious economic bonus. We ate some of the breast for dinner, and then again in the morning, as well as throwing the dark meat into some breakfast hash. Oh, and new guilty pleasure…..Duck Cracklin’s! Move over pork rinds (not that I’m a big fan), there’s a new crispy skin treat in town! When making breakfast, I took some of the skin, and put it on the griddle, flipping once, until it was fried in its own fat and crispy. It might be better than bacon.

Yes, that's some crispy duck skin on the left....Holy cow good.

Yes, that’s some crispy duck skin on the left….Holy cow good. Duck breast on the right, and in the middle is a mixture of Japanese Yams, Red Onion, and duck leg/thigh meat. Season with Salt, Thyme, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.

Oh, and the carcass? I’m totally sticking that in the crock pot to make stock. I also have to figure out something to do with the giblets (Which included a gizzard, liver, and kidney….I believe).


Sauteed Chicken Giblets!

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So I roasted a chicken for dinner tonight (two actually), nothing fancy. This time however, I didn’t throw away the bags of giblets. I used to, I didn’t quite know what to do with them, and I haven’t made gravy or chicken broth lately. I thought to myself “This is food” and asked myself why I would ever throw them away. I realized people around the world ate these things as delicacies, and people USED these things. I figured the primal thing to do, would be to embrace these innards! Don’t waste good nutritious food, that’s what it comes down to.

So the bag of giblets came with necks, and gizzards. One came with a liver as well. Gizzards are apparently a sort of seconds stomach….lovely. Both liver and gizzards are low in fat and high protein, but also high in cholesterol. They are a source of iron, zinc, and B12. The liver also is a source of Vitamin A.

As a side note, my dog i suspect is intolerant of chicken, based on past reactions to chicken based dog foods. I was curious if raw, good quality, chicken made any difference, so I gave her one of the raw necks. She thanked me.

I ate the rest of it. I washed everything, and trimmed the weird fat off the neck and gizzards. I cut the organ parts into small pieces. Heating some duck fat in a skillet, and some coconut aminos, I added the neck first. I chopped up a few cloves of garlic and a small shallot. I added them to the pan, as well as some ginger powder, salt, pepper, and the rest of the organs. I cooked until I thought everything looked done, only a few minutes, and until everything was sort of caramelized.

I’m a fan I have to say. The liver was soft and rich, and though  they were chewy, with an odd texture, the gizzards had a nice subtle flavor. The seasoning I used made me think of teriyaki, so if you are just trying this out, and aren’t very brave, it’s probably a good way to go. The neck was good, but it didn’t have much meat, so it was a little annoying. Definitely will do this with my gizzards from now on, otherwise I might save them for a stew.


London Broil Lettuce Tacos!

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Here is another easy meal for a busy weeknight….but definitely not short on OMGYum! It’s also fun, because it’s messy finger food, so kids would probably like it. I had another grass-fed london broil in the freezer, so I took it out the night before. I was planning on letting it marinate for at least two hours, while I ran a few errands, and took the pup to the dog park, but I forgot. Instead I let it marinate on the counter for about 40 minutes while I chopped veggies and ran to the store to get more apple cider vinegar for the bone broth I was going to make later.

The Marinade was a combination of

  • apple cider vinegar
  • coconut aminos
  • whole cloves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ginger powder
  • tumeric
  • orange peel
  • cardamom
  • oregano

I just threw everything in a bag and put the meat in. I poked a few holes in it, and flipped it….once I think.

In the mean time, I chopped one onion, 3 cloves garlic, one green bell pepper, and one red bell pepper and set aside. I also tore a few big leaves off a head of crispy and delicious romaine lettuce, washed, and set aside in a bowl lined with some paper towel.

When I was ready to get everything cooked, I heat a skillet to medium-high – without adding any oil. I put the meat in, covered, and set a timer for 4 minutes. after 4 minutes I flipped, covered, and set the timer for another 4 minutes. When that was done, I took it out, and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes. This produced a perfect, juicy, medium-rare steak, so add a minute per side if you prefer it a little more well done . After you let it rest, cut the steak into strips, cutting against the grain.

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While it was resting, I washed the skillet (it got a little smokey and burnt on the bottom, and put a tablespoon of FatWorks duck fat in. I threw in the vegetable mixture, covered, and cooked until the onions were caramelized and the peppers were soft. I shook the pan and stirred occasionally through the cooking process.

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Before serving, I cut up an avocado into slices to top everything off. I think each of us had 3 lettuce tacos, plus some extra meat. I usually put one long slice of meat, an avocado slice, and a spoon of peppers in each taco….easy and delicious!

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londonbroiltacos 131


I’ve Been Absent – Have a Cocktail!

So I’ve been crazy busy, and trying to balance and juggle more things into my life (like getting back to practicing guitar and writing music consistently). I’ve been cooking really simple during the past week or so, or going back to old recipes, so unfortunately I’ve neglected you hungry healthy foodies out there. For this I apologize. I also just didn’t have the time to go through and upload the photos, as I was dealing with house maintenance and a lot of cleaning. Tomorrow, I should be putting up TWO recipes to try to make up for lost time and ask for the internet’s forgiveness.

To take the edge off your frustrations, here is a nice, simple, cocktail I made the other night. It has a nice savory note, and free of gluten and added sugars, so if you are allowing yourself an occasional drink this summer – give this one a try.

Lemon Berry Sage Fizzy

Lemon Berry Sage Fizzy

  • 1/2 cup Frozen blueberries
  • 3  Sage leaves (ripped or chopped)
  • 1/8 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 oz Bacardi
  • Fill rest with Seltzer

And if your hungry in the meantime, I’m going to link you back in time to a recipe I made the other night, to feed some hungry boy’s who were over during the week. My boyfriend’s brothers were vistiting (13 and 16 years old), and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years being around boys, it’s that they can EAT. I picked up some chicken breasts from Raleigh’s Poultry Farm in Kings Park. The chicken is super fresh, free range, organic, and delicious. I’m really loving supporting local as much as I can, and the difference in quality, to me, is just instantly noticeable. The only difference this time, was omitting the olive oil in the marinade.

Click The Image to Go To The Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

Click The Image to Go To The Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

I served it with one of my favorite easy sides for the summer – Grilled Zucchini. Just slice zucchini lengthwise, and in a ziplock with a little duck fat, salt, pepper, and oregano. Then throw them on the George Foreman or grill until cooked through. After I took them off the grill, I drizzled them with some sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds. You could use olive oil as well, but the important thing is to drizzle it on AFTER you cook them.


Farm Stand Salad with Honey Hot Cod

Here is a little something I pulled together last night. I wanted to keep it fairly simple. Now I normally don’t add any sweeteners to my recipes – but I added a tablespoon of raw honey to this one. It’s still Paleo compliant, but it’s not Whole Life Challenge compliant because of that. For the fish, I have some things to tweak next time, mainly I think I would put the sauce on after the fish is on the plate – just because the fish gives off a lot of liquid, and waters it down. You can experiment with it. I thought it was good enough to post, and my boyfriend was like “That was really good”…so maybe I’m just being overly critical.

I actually wanted to highlight the salad today. It wasn’t crazy involved, but most of the ingredients came from the local farm stand, which is a practice I want everyone to start trying to implement. Eating seasonally is not only important for nutrition and budget, as the fresher ingredients are often cheaper and more nutrient dense in season, but it’s important to support your local farmers and farm stands, because generally the food you find there is way fresher, and way better than anything you will find in your local big chain supermarket.

I bought some beautiful arugula, red leaf lettuce, and cucumbers from the farm stand. The shallot also came from a trip there earlier in the week. The only things I added that did not come from there, was the tomatoes, some celery, and some fermented ginger carrot.

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  • Arugula
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Shallot
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Fermented Ginger Carrots

Dressing – Olive Oil, Coconut Aminos, Lime Juice

It was beautiful and fresh, and the arugula had a wonderful full flavor spice to it that really complimented the light and refreshing taste of everything else! I think in the past I have only had baby arugula, which I love, but I didn’t realize how wonderfully strong the flavor is when full-grown!

So to go with it, I baked some Cod Filets. To make the sauce, I placed a glass bowl over a sauce pan, and set the stove to Hi. I added a tablespoon each of duck fat and raw honey, then added a few good shakes of hot sauce. Next time I am going to put the sauce on after baking, because as you can see by the picture, the liquid from the fish seriously diluted it. It was subtle and nice though. I topped with half an avocado for some added good fats.

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Duck Fat Love and Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic and Shallots

Duck Fat. I’ve long heard of its golden status among chefs. I’ve often been told within recipes to hoard the drippings for later when cooking with duck. All of this was in the back of my mind, until I found Fatworks. [You can find a link to the website on the left sidebar of my blog]

I first heard of Fatworks from a colleague at Crossfit. I checked it out, and immediately was interested. You see, I am trying to get away from using seed oils when cooking. They are terribly unstable, have low smoke points, and are generally better suited for cold use in salads. The most stable fat I owned at this point was coconut oil, and although I’d cook everything in it, it does have a discernible taste, and my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of coconut oil on everything, so i needed options. I generally can get away with a small amount of butter, but knowing how dairy affects me, I don’t really like the idea of using it, and avoid it. This left me using olive and sesame oil, even though it’s less than ideal.

Now, Fatworks gave me access to some high quality, pure, animal fat, giving me more dairy free and stable saturated fat options to bring to my kitchen. I ordered the Duck as soon as it was back in stock. [Next thing I have to order is Tallow!] I was ecstatic when it came yesterday.

Duck Fat Yum! - Click to go to Fatworks and get some for yourself!

Duck Fat Yum! – Click to go to Fatworks and get some for yourself!

Now what to make!

It was a crossfit night, so I decided to roast a chicken. I figured the duck fat, being poultry, would go well, help bring some crispness to the skin, and give some nice flavor. I poured a spoon over the skin, rubbed it over, and then used my fingers to push some more  under the skin via the few holes I poked around the skin of the breast area. I shoved a few garlic cloves in the holes, seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper, and orange peel, and put it in the oven. My general go to technique [As I’ve mentioned before] is to bake at 450 for 15 minutes, and 20 minutes per pound at 350 after that.

Then in the 10 minutes I had before leaving, I peeled a sweet potato and cut it into medium wedges and strips.

Went to the gym, came home to a yummy smelling house, took a shower, and took this beauty out of the oven!

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DuckFatAdventures 104

Seriously – I think this was the best looking bird I’ve roasted. Thank you Duck Fat!

While I was letting it rest, I sliced up a shallot, and two cloves of garlic and kept them off to the side. I turned the burner to medium-high, put 5 spoons or so of  the duck fat in the pan, and when it was hot, I threw the sweet potato wedges in, covered, and tossed. I let them cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, and then seasoned them with a little salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Keeping an eye on them, when I saw they were getting soft, I threw in the shallots and garlic, and tossed. Putting them in late like this, let them caramelize and crisp, without burning.

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DuckFatAdventures 103

Beautiful! The sweet potatoes, onions, and shallots all got a beautiful caramelization. The foodie in me was singing with joy and anticipation.

Now all that was left was to eat!

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Yum does not even cover it. The chicken skin was divine. It had a beautiful crispness and full flavor. The meat itself was juicy and delicious. The sweet potatoes were sweet, with a savory note, and addictive. I was beyond pleased.

I highly recommend buying some of this fabulous fat!

Complementary note – Even though I don’t drink too often anymore [When I do it’s usually red wine or spirits], I’ve been trying out some Gluten Free beers.  Especially in the heat of the summer , I find my mood longing for a beer over wine, and sometimes hard liquor can be a little harsh on my system. In the past I used to love beer, craft beer, robust beer, stouts, porters, imperial ales, I was a fan. Unfortunately, due to [likely] the grain sensitivity, they also would often give me a headache and mess my stomach up. I’ve avoided going back to them….until now!

I was curious to try some of the Gluten Free beers, to see if I had better reaction to them. So far [I’ve tried 2 different ones], my post beer experience has been night and day; no headaches, no digestive system anger. For dinner tonight I tried this one from Dogfish head, and it was very nice. Light in flavor with subtle notes of the strawberry and buckwheat honey. I will definitely be buying it again!

Gluten Free Beer!

Gluten Free Beer!


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