Last night while putting away the leftovers from our wonderful Christmas dinner, an important question came up. What are we going to do with the carcass of the duck? Although we’d managed to carve most of the meat from the roast duck there was still meat on the bones. I checked the 1898 New Galt Cook Book and discovered the recipe for Turkey Soup could apply to duck too. Mrs. James Young contributed the recipe.
This afternoon I put the wings, legs, and body of the roast duck in a pot. I tried to break up the bones but they kept springing back so I put the main part in whole. I added 1 quart (4 cups) of water. I turned the heat low and left it to simmer for two hours. I checked on it every half hour or so to make sure the liquid wasn’t boiling away but it was fine. However, in the last half hour a family member wanted to be helpful and added more water. In the end it was fine since the next step involves adding some more liquid. I strained the soup and measured the broth. I put a quart of it into the clean soup pot and added 2 tablespoons rice, 1 onion chopped finely and then tried to figure out how much carrot to use. I started grating the carrot and used about two inches of carrot. The grated carrot eventually added colour to the broth. I left the soup to simmer for another hour and then once again strained the soup. I served the clear duck broth as a starter to our meal of leftovers so I had several tasters.
Mrs. James Young is a familiar name since she contributed so many recipes to this cook book. Margaret McNaught’s sister Frances was one of the editors and lived in the home of her sister and brother-in-law James Young. Although this household was prosperous they seem to have also been frugal. A soup like this fits this image since it uses leftovers but creates a broth suitable for guests.
Most of the tasters couldn’t tell that it was duck. It simply tastes like chicken broth and that it would make a good base for further additions. I’m going to keep the grated carrot trick in mind for future use. It is an easy way to add some colour to a bland looking broth. More and more evidence is showing that chicken soup is actually beneficial in dealing with a cold so we’re keeping the leftover broth on hand for medicinal purposes!
Mrs. James Young
Bones of fowl or turkey, carrot, onion, celery, rice, salt and pepper. This is an excellent way to use the remnants of fowls or turkey on which considerable meat remains. Put in the soup kettle the carcass, and any bits of stuffing or gravy that remains. Pour over it one quart of cold water. Let the bones simmer for two hours (break the bones before putting them into the water). At the end of two hours strain your stock, wash the pot and put back your stock and add to it more stock if you have it, and if not, add boiling water enough to make a good quart, also a slice of carrot grated, a small onion cut fine, a piece of celery (the coarse pieces may be used for soup), and two tablespoonfuls of rice. At the end of an hour strain again, and serve, salt and pepper to taste.