Kelly’s Duck Stew

I was sitting in church, studying the congregation, and wondering, WHO has too many ducks in their freezer? Duck season was over, and we had no ducks. I was craving my husband’s duck stew. I knew there were people in Nashville who had too many ducks in their freezer. I’ve been there.

Duck Stew

As the service ended, my friend Greer came up to me and said, “By any chance, could The Nashville Food Project use a freezer-full of ducks?” I laughed out loud and told Greer about my daydreaming moment in church. I told her TNFP would love to have them, and by the way, could she spare eight breasts for us?  The next morning, Greer donated the frozen duck breasts to the ever-resourceful, Anne Sale, TNFP’s Meals Coordinator. It was a win-win-win-win-win situation: Greer got her freezer space back, her husband, David, a volunteer at TNFP, felt good about donating his ducks to a worthy cause, Anne got a free source of protein for TNFP’s meal planning, many Nashvillians were nourished by the donated meat, and my family and I got to enjoy a bowl of my husband’s duck stew. Blessings all around.

Yield: 5 quarts

Duck stew roux
8 duck breasts (2 pounds- they each weigh about 4 ounces), cut into 1″ chunks
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 stick butter (½ cup)
6 celery stalks, sliced (about 3 cups)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
10 carrots, sliced (about 3½ cups)
1 apple, minced and mashed
10 cups chicken broth
2 cups red wine
2 pounds potatoes chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
2 teaspoons each salt and pepper, or to taste

Preheat oven to 250º if you have all day to cook the stew, or to 300º if you have half a day.

Prep the duck meat and veggies:
Chop the breasts into bite-sized pieces. Duck stew roux

Put the flour, salt, and pepper into a paper bag, add duck pieces and shake to evenly coat each piece of meat. Discard excess flour. Set aside coated meat.
Duck stew roux

Here my husband is teaching my son how to make duck stew.

Wash and scrub the veggies. There is no need to peel them. Coarsely chop the onions, thickly slice the celery and carrots, and mince and mash the peeled apple. Set veggies aside.

Prepare the stew:
Melt butter in a sauté pan or in the bottom of a 6-quart Dutch oven.

Duck stew roux

Add floured and seasoned meat to pan and brown on all sides.

Add meat and juice to a stockpot or Dutch oven. Deglaze the sauté pan with ¼.cup red wine and add to pot. Add onions, celery, carrots, and apple. DSC_0627

Add broth. Add salt as needed, lots of cracked pepper, and red wine.

Cover and put in oven, or slow cook on the stove, for 6 hours. An hour before serving, add potatoes. I raised the oven temperature to 300º to cook the potatoes faster. We used sweet potatoes this time. They were good, but they made the soup too sweet. Next time, we’re going back to white potatoes.

Duck stew roux

My husband serves the stew over a wedge of homemade cornbread placed in the bottom of each person’s bowl. We add a garnish of sliced green onions and parsley on top. Sometimes we add crumbled cornbread, as well. Delicious!

P.S. My husband has made this stew in three hours, start to finish. It doesn’t have to be an all-day project.

Related Posts:
Chicken Stock from Rotisserie Chicken Bones
Bruce’s Turkey and Sausage Gumbo
Aunt Bridget’s Chicken Soup with Little Meatballs
Mrs. Lombard’s Portuguese Kale Soup
Pasta e Fagioli

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