Kol Foods: A Series on Duck (Finale) Duck Mujadara

The ducks used in these recipes are from KOL Foods. (http://kolfoods.com/) I received no other compensation – all opinions are my own.

One of the things I love to do in the kitchen is to take ingredients, look at them, and say “What happens if I…”.  There is two vital considerations I keep in mind at all times. One – it has to make sense to me. Two – it must treat the ingredient with the respect I feel it deserves.  Yes, even if it’s leftovers. Especially if it’s leftovers. In many homes, they are the source of whines and frowns, but in my house, they can sometimes be better than the original meal!

So when I managed (by hook, crook and bribery) to secure a full duck breast (two pieces) for this recipe I knew precisely how I was going to utilize these gorgeous leftovers. Because let’s face it – duck is delicious right out of the oven, but the next day?  It can be some of the best eating ever. The question was how to make the meat stretch enough to feed my now duck-crazy family.

If anyone asks me what one of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes are, mujadara is in the top three (shakshuka and lachmagine round out that list). Many varieties of lentils and rice are staples in my home, so this made my choice pretty simple. To avoid a clash of tastes, (the recipe I was taught for this dish has cilantro, which I couldn’t see working with duck) I had to re-tool the recipe a bit. I can say these were leftovers my whole family enjoyed! (This recipe make quite a lot, so divide it easily in half for a smaller amount)

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Recipe for Duck Mujadara

3 cups basmati rice 

2 cups green lentils 

1 whole KOL Foods duck breast (two pieces), already cooked and diced

1/3 cup white wine

2 tbsp of lemon juice

heaping 1/2 tsp of turmeric

tiny pinch of cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Generous splash of olive oil

 4 cups of  duck stock, plus a little more for the lentils. (see this recipe for duck stock )

1) In a large pot, add just the lentils and a mix of water, white wine and duck stock til the lentils are covered and have an additional knuckle of liquid above that. Bring to a boil, then turn off and leave sit for a minimum of 2 hours (check and add a bit more stock if needed) and then simmer on low til prefered doneness. 

2) In another pot, add your rice, 4 C  duck stock, olive oil, a scant handful of salt and a three-finger pinch of pepper. Simmer for 25 mins with the lid tightly closed. Remove from fire and leave sit for 10 mins. (Nearly everyone I know combine steps 1 and 2, but I find either the lentils are not done as I like or the rice is too soft, so until I get a bit better at making mujadara this is how I make it. If you are able to make the lentils and rice together in the same pot, please feel free to do so.) 

3) In a saucepan, add the white wine, lemon juice, tumeric, and cumin to make a sauce. Add the duck breasts last and cook on low heat til the pieces of duck are warmed through. 

4) Combine the rice and the lentils gently, then add the duck pieces and sauce. Using a rubber or silcone spatula, fold the mixture together til well-coated (all the rice should have a bright yellow hue) and serve immediately.

 

Kol Foods: A Series on Duck part 2

The ducks used in these recipes are from KOL Foods. (http://kolfoods.com/) I received no other compensation – all opinions are my own.

The second part of this series focuses on duck bones. Many people simply throw them into the garbage, and that is a shame. Duck bones, when roasted and then simmered with vegetables and herbs, can make a fantastic stock.

Duck stock, quite frankly, is something to get obsessed with. It has a richness of flavor and a gaminess that chicken stock (which is delicious) does not have.  It compliments both beef and chicken dishes quite well, adding an extra, welcome element of flavor.

Since I tend to use my stocks in more or less the same dishes, (lentils, rice, soups, for boiling pasta or potatoes) I keep the flavors simple so I can add what spices I want when I am preparing my final dish.

Recipe for Duck Stock

Bones from 2 whole KOL Foods ducks, with a bit of meat remaining

1 bunch of celery, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large white onions, large dice

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

handful of garlic cloves, smashed and roughly minced

1/3 of a 750ml bottle of dry white wine

Small amount of olive oil

1) Arrange duck bones on a tray in a single layer. Add a scant handful each of salt and pepper. Drizzle with canola oil and roast at 400F for 1.5 hrs.  Let cool in oven.

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2) Heat stock pot well, and add olive oil, garlic, celery and onions. Cook until garlic is fragrant and onions are getting soft, about 5-7 mins on high.

3)Lower flame to medium and add carrots and parsnips. Put a lid on the pot and leave sweat for about 15 mins, til you start to see the carrots soften a little and there is some liquid in the bottom of the pot.

4) Add your duck bones – make sure to scrape all the dark bits off the tray- and red wine, mix to combine. Cover and leave this mixture to sweat 15-20 mins on medium- low flame.

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5) Add  COLD water to fill the pot to about 2 inches from the top. Raise flame til water is at a strong simmer, not quite a boil, then lower, stir and leave cook on a low flame for 2 hours at the most, stirring once or twice.

6) Take a clean pot and put a colander over top. Strain the stock through the colander, and leave sit for 30 mins. Even after you pour the vegetables into the colander, all the liquid doesn’t come out right away. If you want, you can take a potato masher and gently press down on the cooked vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible.

7) Remove colander and dispose cooked veg. Clean out original pot you used, and cover top with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (I use a fine mesh strainer). Carefully pour liquid to catch tiny pieces. Your result should be a vegetable stock that is clear, mild-smelling and a light gold in color.

8) Cool completely and refrigerate or freeze. Lasts for a few weeks in the freezer, a week at most in the fridge.

 

 

KOL Foods: A Series on Duck part 1

The ducks used in these recipes are from KOL Foods. (http://kolfoods.com/) I received no other compensation – all opinions are my own.

Nearly a year ago, I was given my first chance to taste and review KOL Foods poultry. I wrote a series of posts back then regarding my experience and opinions on the product (http://foodwordsphotos.com/kol-foods-a-revolution-in-kosher-meat/  and http://foodwordsphotos.com/kol-foods-a-revolution-in-kosher-meat-part-2-review-and-giveaway/). So when I was given this second opportunity to review their duck, I didn’t hesitate to take KOL Foods up on their generous offer.

I was requested to develop recipes for the following: a whole roasted duck, a recipe using the bones to make stock, and a recipe using the leftover meat and stock.  This assignment was right up my street – I am an advocate of using every part of an ingredient as possible. One tiny problem: I’ve never cooked duck before.  But it couldn’t be that difficult, could it?

After asking about, I was seriously beginning to wonder if for the first time in my blogging career I’d bitten off more than I could chew. But the ducks were on their way, I already said I’d do it, and that was that. Enter my pal Simone. For traditional French or Middle Eastern cuisine, I have no better resource. The ideas and recipes I get from her are simply elegant, and incredibly easy to execute.

Duck is delicious when cooked to mid- rare and treated very simply.  Thanks goes to Simone for the majority of this concept and recipe.  The following recipe is for 2 ducks, about 4 lbs each. Add a starch and a vegetable, and you have a fantastic meal for a family.

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Recipe for Roasted Duck

2 4lb KOL Foods ducks

1 bottle of red wine

1 16 oz bottle of Pom Cherry Juice

Salt and Pepper to season

Meat thermometer

Take two 2 gallon Ziploc bags and put them inside each other to form one bag (to make it extra strong) Inside the Ziploc, place your ducks one on top of the other, then add your wine and juice. Lay on its side inside a deep pan, and leave marinate in the liquids overnight, turning once or twice.

The next day, preheat your oven to 400F. Remove ducks from Ziplocs, discarding the liquid. Place ducks breast side down on the rack of a roasting tray (or two trays, if they don’t both fit one one) and remove neck from cavity, setting alongside the ducks on the roasting rack. Using a scant handful of salt and pepper, season your ducks inside and out and tie the legs together and the ends with kitchen twine.

Roast in oven for 1 hr at 400F – about 35 mins in, flip duck over so breast side is up. After one hour, use a meat thermometer to determine temperature. When plunged into the thickest part of the breast, it should be a minimum of 150F. I would not recommend cooking higher than this temperature – as the duck rests it cooks a bit more.

Leave duck rest for about an hour and 15 mins before cutting, then cut lengthwise to serve. Each side can then be cut down into wing, breast and leg pieces.

For my family, I chose to serve the duck with herb-roasted baby potatoes and grilled endive – recipe will be in a future blogpost.

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KOL Foods: A Revolution in Kosher Meat Part 2 – Review and Giveaway!

Thank you, KOL Foods, for providing me with the meat used in this recipe. A special thank you to Hadassah Sabo Milner (Social Media Specialist of KOL foods) for her assistance and guidance. KOL poultry hashgacha is OU and CHK (Crown Heights) certified.  Before using any product that you are unfamiliar with regarding certification, please consult your personal Rabbinical authority. I have been given product by KOL Foods, and have not been compensated financially.

Special mention to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-Tested for the edit on the first photo and for her assistance in fine-tuning the re-interpreted recipe!

The second part of this article is a review of the delicious bone/skinless chicken cutlets that I was given a chance to try. The cutlets were extremely clean, free of fragments of bone and cartilage, and with very little extra fat. Each cutlet was very large, and I was very pleased with this – a larger cutlet lends itself to a wider range of preparations.

I chose to do a Chicken Basquaise. Traditionally, as with many classical French recipes, the meat that is used is on the bone. I felt the cutlets were so large that I could treat them in a similar manner that I might treat bone-in, skinless cutlets.  I got the inspiration for my recipe from here: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/chickenbasqu.htm

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise - I subsituted smoked turkey for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers.

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise – I subsituted  chopped smoked turkey drumstick for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers. Thanks goes to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen Tested for the photo edit!

Here is my interpretation of Chicken Basquaise:

4 KOL Foods large chicken cutlets (skinless/boneless) about 1 1/2-2 lbs

Leaves from 4 stems of parsley, minced fine

1 C extra virgin olive oil

2 C flour

2 tbsp spiced paprika

1 tbsp Salt

2C chicken stock (I used broth leftover from my Shabbos chicken soup)

2 tbsp black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced fine

3 red bell peppers, small dice

3 Italian peppers, small dice

2 smoked turkey drumsticks, meat chopped into bite size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the cutlets in the olive oil, parsley and garlic for a minimum of 1 hr.

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Mix the flour with spiced paprika, salt and paprika. Heat a Dutch oven on the burner on high and when very hot add a bit of olive oil and your chicken pieces, searing on both sides for about 5-7 mins per side depending on thickness of cutlet. Lower flame to medium low and add smoked turkey pieces and chicken stock.

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Simmer for 15 mins, then add pepper pieces. Simmer entire mixture 15 mins, or until pepper pieces are soft but not mushy. Care must be taken not to overcook peppers.

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Meal is done when chicken is cooked entire way through, and peppers are slightly soft but not mushy. This dish is best served immediately. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven and are excellent the next day.

Now for the best part of the article: Food, Words & Photos first giveaway ever! Ready?!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KOL FOODS: A Revolution in Kosher Meat

Thank you, KOL Foods, for providing me with the meat used in this recipe. A special thank you to Hadassah Sabo Milner (Social Media Specialist of KOL foods) for her assistance and guidance. KOL poultry hashgacha is OU and CHK (Crown Heights) certified.  Before using any product that you are unfamiliar with regarding certification, please consult your personal Rabbincal authority. I have been given product by KOL Foods, and have not been compensated financially.

I believe I can safely posit the theory that there has never been a time in modern history where a person needed to be so concerned for what went into their food, especially their meat, poultry or fish. Nor have we ever been so aware of the conditions that the animals are raised in, as well. Considering both of these topics, in my opinion, is something that gives me a great deal to contemplate.

While kosher meat is not as harmful to a person, the animals themselves, or the environment as non-kosher (in terms of how the animal is raised, what it is fed, and how it is slaughtered) there is most certainly room to argue if kosher meat does all in its capabilities to both animal and customer.

I sometimes wonder about that. Compared to the way non-kosher animals are slaughtered, shechita is far and away the kindest way to end an animal’s life. As concerned as we are to ensure our animals die humanely, do kosher meat companies also show the same level of care that they live just as humanely?  I know of one company that subscribes to this theory whole-heartedly.

KOL Foods is starting, in my opinion, a quiet but growing revolution in kosher meat, poultry and fish. In a world where additives, injections, corn enhanced feeds and feedlots are the norm, KOL  Foods is leading the charge in the opposite direction.  Their animals are grass fed throughout their entire lives, kept on pasture, and never injected with a single foreign substance. In other words, the animals are raised the way G-d intended them to. And they are slaughtered the same way. It’s a completed cycle, and one that I would be happy to support.

There are all sorts of food ‘movements’ out there – locavorism, farm to table, nose-to-tail. How about adding ‘completely humane’ as well to that list? I believe we should.  I actually got a chance to see if KOL Foods lived up to the hype. The difference in the taste, quality, and overall treatment of the end product is startling in the very best way. I tested both their boneless/skinless chicken legs and their boneless/skinless chicken breasts. To start, I was stunned at the chicken legs – they were entire chicken legs (thigh and drumstick) completely boned out and they were clean. When I say clean, I mean there was little residual fat from the skin, there were no tendons, and no bones or cartilage. The meat itself  took the marinade fantastically, and the taste at the end gave new meaning to the expression ‘it tastes like chicken.”

The chicken cutlets I shall discuss in my next post on KOL Foods- where there will also be the very first ever giveaway for this blog! One lucky reader will win exactly what I tested – a pack of KOL Foods dark chicken fillets and 2 packs of boneless/skinless chicken cutlets! But let me not get too far ahead of myself here- don’t you want to see what I made with my dark chicken fillets?

 

French Style Braised Dark Chicken Fillets with Crimmi mushrooms, white potatoes, onions and fresh herbs.

French Style Braised Dark Chicken Fillets with Crimini mushrooms, white potatoes, onions and fresh herbs.

 

Recipe for French-style Braised Chicken Legs

Ingredients for Marinade

1 package (1.5 lbs approx) KOL FOODS boneless dark chicken fillets

5 sprigs fresh rosemary

6 stems of fresh sage

4 cloves fresh garlic

Salt and pepper

1/2 C of Extra-virgin olive oil

Marinade:

Take 5 sprigs of rosemary, 6 stems of sage, 4 cloves of garlic , 1/2 C of EVOO, a handful of salt and pepper and the chicken thighs and combine.  Cover and leave sit in fridge for a minimum of an hour.

 

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For the Stew:

1 package KOL FOODS boneless dark chicken fillets, pre-marinated (see above)

1/3 C Extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium Vidalia or Spanish onion, cut medium dice

1 bunch celery, cut medium dice

3 large white potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cut medium dice

2 10 oz packages of crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cut in half

4 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced

3 stems fresh sage, finely minced

4 Gefen frozen cubes of basil

5 Gefen frozen cubes of parsley

1 1/2 C good red wine ( I used Kedem Burgundy Royale so that or better)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

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Take a 5Qt or larger Dutch oven or stock pot with a tight fitting lid and heat well. Add your pre-marinated dark chicken fillets, searing them for about 3 mins per side. You do not want to completely cook them, just get a bit of golden brown on outside. Remove from pot and set aside.

Using the drippings from searing, add the oil, keeping your heat medium to high. Add onions, garlic and celery, cooking for a few minutes til onions start to become translucent. Add remainder of vegetables, herbs and spices and cook for approx 10 mins this way, then re-add chicken pieces.

 

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Cook for about 50 mins on a low to medium temperature, stirring occasionally. Meal is done when you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and potatoes are fork-tender.

Please visit http://www.kolfoods.com/ for information on their wide range of completely free-range, organic products.