All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


For Susan

This is for little Mrs "I thought you knew how to cook".

My recipe for duck stock. (Ok its just one of them but it is a favorite). This stock will add flavor to any poultry dish and is an excellent base for soups. The most requested and largest selling soup I make from this stock is (believe it or not) my baked potato soup. It works very well with rice soups and coq au vin as well.

The bones/backs/skin of 6 to 8 ducks apx 4 lbs worth
4 gal of water
4 to 5 cups mirepoix (concasser) 2:1:1
4 to 5 cups mirepoix (brunoise) 2:1:1
1/4 cup smoked sea salt (apple or cherry wood is best)
1/4 cup black pepper (whole pepper corns)
1 lb unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine (try a Gew├╝rztraminer for something different)
2 cups dry red wine (1/2 standard bottle)
1 cup garlic (whole cloves)
6 to 8 bay leafs

In a large roasting pan or on a sheet tray d├ęgorger duck bones with the salt, retain all juices. Sprinkle the concasser mirepoix, black pepper, garlic cloves, any remaining sea salt. Bake in a 225 degree oven for apx 1&1/2 hrs or until the duck bones, skin etc is nice and crispy and brown. Do not over bake.

Put the water, bayleaf and red wine in a large stock pot. Bring up to a simmer, DO NOT BOIL. Just get the water nice and slightly steamy. It should NEVER get any hotter than this, EVER.

In a large saute pan, melt butter (or use clarified if you have it on hand), saute the brunoise mirepoix until the onion is completely see through (it can even brown slightly), deglaze with the white wine. Add to stock pot.

Take the roasted duck bones/mirepoix/garlic/pepper corns and ALL the jus, fat etc and add it to the stock pot. Drink all of the leftover white wine, you deserve it, you're all most done. Let the stock pot simmer until the liquid reduces by 75%. This may take between 6 to 8 hrs.

Strain the liquid and remove all bones, meat, vegetable and spices.

The remaining product is a very nice duck stock. Use it for sauce, demiglaze (I make a morel demi that will blow you away), soup base, etc; or if you're Susan (aka The Culinary Cretin) you can soak bread crumbs in it and shove them up a turkey arse and bake at 325 for 3 hrs. Actually it would be some excellent stuffing. I just can't bring myself to invest a day making stock for something I slip to the dog when we're sick of eating it 3 days latter.

Key things to remember:
1. Duck fat and butter taste really really really good, get and keep all the fats in the stock that you can.
2. Meats cooked from room temperature have better flavor and taste better. The same with extracting flavor from bones
3. Boiling kills the flavor in au jus de canard and makes lots of little pastie crap that floats in the stock. Don't get in a hurry and turn up the heat.

Variations on the recipe:
1. Don't use any of the wines
2. Skip one but not both of the mirepoix steps. If you skip one, skip the sauted mirepoix, not the roasted,
3. I make my own smoked salts, you can use regular sea salt. I find a course ground salt is best. DO NOT bother with iodized salt.
4. You can (I don't know why you would though) skip the roasting stage and just boil the duck.
5. You can use 1 whole duck instead of the bones of several (seems like a waste of good duck meat).
6. Add tomato paste to the stock pot.
7. Add tamari (do this to the finished stock, not during cooking).
8. Drizzle olive oil over the duck and mirepoix prior to roasting. This works well.

I have made my baked potato soup using this stock and had a somewhat hefty 40ish year old woman from Wisconsin offer to make love to me if I would give her the recipe. Resist temptation (as I did) there are plenty of 25ish to 35ish women from Wisconsin who are slightly less hefty who will make the same deal if you are strong and hold out for a better offer. I realize that if you are female that deflowering prime (as in beef) examples of upper Midwestern womanhood may not have the same attraction for you as it would for a man; none the less, with great power (stock) comes great responsibility.


If this sounds involved, my veal stock takes a minimum of 80 hrs. The sauces I make from that take about 2 hrs after I make the stock. Imagine spending $150 just to buy the bones to roast to make less than 3 gallons of stock. From this I make a Bordeaux style bordelaise and a wild mushroom soup, that are slightly above average, at least that is the impression I get from the purred ahs and ohs I hear when people eat them. I don't cook like this too often, but when I do, I enjoy doing it.

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