duck gravy poutine with la luna

duck gravy poutine with la luna

The Heston-hype is really getting to me lately and I seem to have duck on the brain.  You may remember last week I roasted Daffy in a cocktail of mandarin, Cointreau and Angostura Bitters and I had all these lovely pan juices left over which I scraped up and have had stashed away safely at the back of my fridge.

Duck fat gravy has been on the agenda for quite a while.  Such a divine thing, in all its glory, deserves to be the star of the dish, so the Canadian dish poutine was the logical conclusion.  Sounds fancy, but it's really just chips drowned in gravy.  I've fancied mine up even more by using the heavenly La Luna goat's cheese by Holy Goat Cheese.  Mebournites, you can get your hands on some from my friends at Bill's Farm at the Queen Victoria Markets.

duck gravy poutine with la luna
Serves 2

8 Sebago potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick chips
2L canola oil
100g La Luna goat's cheese
Pan drippings from 1 roast duck*
2 tbsp plain flour

4 duck carcasses
1 1/2 brown onions, skin on, quartered
3 cloves garlic, skin on, bruised
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped (throw the leaves in too!)
2 large carrots, yucky bits removed, roughly chopped
6 stalks Tuscan kale
12 peppercorns
Sea salt flakes
3 stalks parsley
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme

Place duck carcasses into a large saucepan.  Fill with cold water until the water level just covers the bones.  Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.  Drop heat to low, then skim off and discard any scum that's floating on the surface.  

Add all of the other ingredients except the parsley, rosemary and thyme.  Allow to simmer very gently (lowest setting of your stove) for 3 hours, checking the stock every now and again to remove any scum that rises to the surface (there shouldn't be too much after your initial skimming).  After 2 1/2 hours use kitchen string to tie together the parsley, rosemary and thyme, then pop into the stock and allow to simmer for the final 30 mins.

Use tongs to remove the bones and large vegetables from the stock, discard solids.  Line a fine strainer with muslin or Chux cloth, then strain stock through, reserving the stock and discarding the solids.  

Taste the stock and adjust seasoning (salt and pepper) as you like.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the stock for the gravy (you can freeze the remaining stock and use in place of chicken stock for future recipes).

Heat canola oil in a deep saucepan (be very, very careful if you're using a gas stove).  Or if you're a big chicken like me, use a deep fryer (it's a LOT safer).  

To make the gravy, heat 2 tbsp of the pan drippings in a heavy based saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk constantly until the flour absorbs the fat, cook for 1-2 mins.  Slowly add the warm stock, little by little, whisking as you go to ensure the gravy is smooth and has no lumps.  Continue until all the stock is added.  You may wish to strain your gravy if it is a little lumpy (I did, but I have OCD issues so it is not a vital step).  Season to taste, then keep gravy warm over a low heat while you cook the chips.

Make sure your potatoes are really dry, this is the secret to super crunchy chips.  If you have soaked them in water, dry between sheets of paper towel to ensure they are not wet on the outside.  Add your chips to the deep fryer and cook for 3-4 mins or until golden and crispy.

Serve chips topped with a generous pouring of gravy and sprinkled with the goat's cheese.