St. Stephen – Does anyone have any good recipes for duck? If so, send them along to the Food Bank in St. Stephen. This may seem a strange request, but recently, the food bank received a large donation of duck meat from its food supplier, Food Depot Alimentaire (FDA) out of Moncton. Donna Linton, coordinator of the Volunteer Centre of Charlotte County, Inc., which operates the food bank, said they haven’t been giving much of the duck meat away yet, because they are trying to find recipes so clients can prepare it safely.
“The second most interesting product I’ve ever seen in my career working here was a half a pallet full of duck,” said Linton. “It looks like a nice uniform package of chicken breasts. None of the food bank staff had experience with duck, and only two of our volunteers have. So, three of our volunteers agreed to take some and see how it turned out. They were familiar with the recipe, duck l’orange. I also saw another recipe online, and it was a five spice duck, which looks good.”
The only thing Linton is worried about is the fact duck is fatty, and it could be dangerous if not cooked in a proper vessel. She said she noticed one recipe called for using flame-proof cookware, and pouring the grease off every half hour or so. She added that the grease can be used to make sauces, gravy, and au jus, or those who decide to try it can use vegetables to absorb the grease.
“The tough thing I’ve learned about duck is it’s extremely greasy,” said Linton. “So, number one, it needs to be put on a rack or laid on a bed of celery leaves or carrots or something to absorb the grease. We’re actually looking for people who either can come up with simple recipes for us that we can pass out with this. We have not passed this out widely to the clients.”
Linton said she is also looking into finding out if it can be cooked and then frozen, so all clients have to do is thaw it out and heat it up. But, this can be a bit tricky, due to the regulations surrounding giving out food that has already been cooked.
“We’re kind of in a catch-22 about that. We have a couple of avenues we’re going to seek to see if there is anyone who can handle this for us.”
Linton is asking the public for recipes for duck. She even said people can stop in and pick some up if they want to try recipes and then give their testimonials to the food bank volunteers and staff. They want to know how it tastes, the level of difficulty of the recipes, etc. before they start distributing it to clients. It’s not just food bank clients who are welcome to try the duck meat. Linton said she is more than happy to work with anyone who would like to try it and then let her know what they think. If you don’t feel right about taking food from the food bank, you can always make a donation of cash or non-perishable food items.
“Call with recipes, or stop in and pick it up to try it,” said Linton. “We want them to try recipes, and give a testimonial of what this actually tastes like, how hard was it, etc. before we start distributing it. My fear is that someone will take it, cook it inappropriately, and have a mess on their hands and be disgruntled with us and refuse to take it whereas if we could get somebody to prepare it and pass it out, or have clients choose to take a frozen package of duck meat and a recipe, we will provide the ingredients.”