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Can't Buy a Duck in this Cow Town

Can't Buy a Duck in this Cow Town
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  • Can't Buy a Duck in this Cow Town

    Post #1 - September 17th, 2004, 4:37 pm
    Post #1 - September 17th, 2004, 4:37 pm Post #1 - September 17th, 2004, 4:37 pm
    My project for this weekend is to smoke a duck in my WSM. (Note to Wiv: I have already procured the necessary large rolling papers). There's only one thing standing in the way of my plan. I can't seem to be able to locate a fresh duck. So far I have been to Peoria Packing (which claimed to have some frozen but none could be located), Whole Foods on Ashland, Paulina Market, two Jewels and a Dominicks.

    Does anyone have a clue where one could get a duck around here? Sheesh, I didn't think it would be such a tough request. How about some of the Asian markets?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - September 17th, 2004, 4:44 pm
    Post #2 - September 17th, 2004, 4:44 pm Post #2 - September 17th, 2004, 4:44 pm
    Have you tried Fox and Obel. I see them there all the time for $3.99/lb.

    For ages I've been meaning to roast one on my barby, and in fact, I was just talking to noted Q whiz's JSM and GWiv about such effort last week.

    Anyone else remember the old Calvin Trillin piece on the duck at Didee's in Louisiana? That's what I'm hoping to produce.

    Rob
  • Post #3 - September 17th, 2004, 5:03 pm
    Post #3 - September 17th, 2004, 5:03 pm Post #3 - September 17th, 2004, 5:03 pm
    The live poultry place on Armitage also has them. They can also special order goose.

    pd
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #4 - September 17th, 2004, 5:31 pm
    Post #4 - September 17th, 2004, 5:31 pm Post #4 - September 17th, 2004, 5:31 pm
    Seems crazy living right next to Indiana, the world's leading producer of ducks, that it should be so hard to find a fresh one. Maple Leaf Farms (actually a conglomerate of contract farmers) produces 17 Million ducks a year. Rival Culver Farms produces 2 Million a year. There are many others. It's surprising you can hear your car radio over the quacking as you drive across the Indiana Toll Road, actually. Now, of course, the majority of these ducks are intended for freezing and get sold throughout the world. But probably worth a call to one or the other of them to see if they have outlets for the fresh ones in Chicago.
  • Post #5 - September 17th, 2004, 6:08 pm
    Post #5 - September 17th, 2004, 6:08 pm Post #5 - September 17th, 2004, 6:08 pm
    IIRC there is a live poultry place on the east side of Western just north of Devon.And I thought I saw a place in Glenview on Waukegan south of Trader Joe's.
  • Post #6 - September 17th, 2004, 6:29 pm
    Post #6 - September 17th, 2004, 6:29 pm Post #6 - September 17th, 2004, 6:29 pm
    If you mean Harrison's in Glenview, call first. Many years ago (almost 20) I called every where for fresh duck for a Christmas dinner. No one had any fresh. I bought frozen from Harrison's and it was terrible. After they ruined (at least in my mind) my Chistmas dinner, I never went back.

    Not only are we right next to Indiana, isn't Chicago big enough to have some ducks? It is like Fields of Dreams, if you build it they will come. If people see more food products, and regularly, they will start figuring out what to do with them. I don't think of duck as anything exotic on a restaurant menu, but it sure seems that way if you want to cook your own.

    Cheers,
    Al
  • Post #7 - September 17th, 2004, 7:08 pm
    Post #7 - September 17th, 2004, 7:08 pm Post #7 - September 17th, 2004, 7:08 pm
    Johns live poultry on fullerton 3 doors east of austin. i have been going for years. last time a muscovy was around 7.50/lb but i notice the prices seem to vary.
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #8 - September 17th, 2004, 9:47 pm
    Post #8 - September 17th, 2004, 9:47 pm Post #8 - September 17th, 2004, 9:47 pm
    I just took a class at the Chopping Block this week in which the main course was a roast duck. The teaching chef thought it would be good for us students to start from scratch with a whole duck - head, feet, and wings. It was purchased from a (Asian) market on Argyle. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of the market on the label. Good luck!
  • Post #9 - September 18th, 2004, 12:09 am
    Post #9 - September 18th, 2004, 12:09 am Post #9 - September 18th, 2004, 12:09 am
    stevez wrote:How about some of the Asian markets?

    Mr. Z,

    Both Viet Hoa and Hoa Nam should have duck.

    My preference for general Asian stores is Viet Hoa. When you ask for duck at Viet Hoa mention you read it on the web, also, if you wish you can put the duck on my bill.

    Oh man, duck, web, bill, doesn't that just quack you up. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Viet Hoa Plaza
    1051 W Argyle St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-334-1028

    Hoa Nam
    1101 W Argyle
    Chicago, IL. 60640
  • Post #10 - September 18th, 2004, 6:53 am
    Post #10 - September 18th, 2004, 6:53 am Post #10 - September 18th, 2004, 6:53 am
    I ended up getting a beautiful Bell & Evans fresh duck at Fox & Obel. They had a Chinese 12 Spice Rub at the meat counter, which I also picked up to rub on the little quacker. Today, it's going on the WSM along with a couple racks of spares. Pictures to follow.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - September 19th, 2004, 11:30 am
    Post #11 - September 19th, 2004, 11:30 am Post #11 - September 19th, 2004, 11:30 am
    Here's the finished product. Tasted as good as it looked.

    WSM Smoked Duck
    Image

    I served it with a nice salad from the garden consisting of fresh picked cucumbers and tomatoes with a balsamic vinegrette and some crumbled feta cheese.

    Garden Salad
    Image

    Edited to fix links to pictures
    Last edited by stevez on March 29th, 2008, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - September 19th, 2004, 1:07 pm
    Post #12 - September 19th, 2004, 1:07 pm Post #12 - September 19th, 2004, 1:07 pm
    They both look great, grats! What kind of rub did you use on the duck and how long did you cook it?
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #13 - September 19th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    Post #13 - September 19th, 2004, 2:44 pm Post #13 - September 19th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    I used a Chinese 12 spice rub which I found at the meat counter at Fox & Obel. I cooked the duck for around 2 hours on the lower grill of my WSM under a couple of racks of spare ribs, which basted it with their drippings. The duck was done past the medum rare that many people favor. I like mine cooked through, but still juicy. This one came out perfectly.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - September 21st, 2004, 2:41 pm
    Post #14 - September 21st, 2004, 2:41 pm Post #14 - September 21st, 2004, 2:41 pm
    In addition to the heritage turkeys, this year Slow Food's food selling arm is offering, heritage ducks and geese for the holidays. Rouen is the strain of duck.
    MAG
    www.monogrammeevents.com

    "I've never met a pork product I didn't like."
  • Post #15 - October 5th, 2004, 8:01 pm
    Post #15 - October 5th, 2004, 8:01 pm Post #15 - October 5th, 2004, 8:01 pm
    stevez wrote:Here's the finished product. Tasted as good as it looked.

    WSM Smoked Duck

    Ok, enough already, this is about the 79th time I looked at the damn duck picture.

    I think I need to smoke a duck before I quack up.

    I usually brine, butterfly, then smoke duck on the top rack of my WSM, though I think I'll try one Steve Z style. Under a couple of racks of spare ribs.

    Speaking of outdoor cooking, I've also deep fried, just like a turkey, duck. Rub with kosher salt, 5-spice and Bob's yer Uncle, delicious.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #16 - March 29th, 2008, 1:45 pm
    Post #16 - March 29th, 2008, 1:45 pm Post #16 - March 29th, 2008, 1:45 pm
    Can't Buy a Duck in this Cow Town

    Having scored a couple of dozen duck eggs this morning, I thought grilled duck breast to go with our duck egg topped Salade Lyonnaise sounded quite the idea.

    Stopped at the new(ish) Whole Foods on Halsted for fresh duck breast. No luck. On to Treasure Island on Broadway, none in the fresh meat case, one lonely beat to death cryovac pack in the bowels of the packaged meat case, swishing dark blood staining tampon like absorbent paper. Within the "sell by" date, but disgusting looking.

    Paulina Market, no go, but at least I stocked up on Spicy Lamb sticks and single smoked bacon, 1/2-inch cut for lardons and thick cut for today's lunch. Phone call to the Cicero/Peterson WF, no duck breast.

    Can't Buy a Duck in this Cow Town

    I did manage to console myself with sunny side up duck eggs and Paulina single smoked bacon for lunch. ;)

    Image

    Duck Eggs (top), Chicken Eggs (bottom)
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - March 29th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Post #17 - March 29th, 2008, 2:54 pm Post #17 - March 29th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Looks great. Where did you get the duck eggs?
  • Post #18 - March 29th, 2008, 4:03 pm
    Post #18 - March 29th, 2008, 4:03 pm Post #18 - March 29th, 2008, 4:03 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Phone call to the Cicero/Peterson WF, no duck breast.


    When I was in that store the other day, they had some fresh ducks in the cooler in front of the meat dept along with some fresh turkeys. But you're right, no duck breast. F&O is the only place I have consistently seen fresh duck breast.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - March 29th, 2008, 4:21 pm
    Post #19 - March 29th, 2008, 4:21 pm Post #19 - March 29th, 2008, 4:21 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Looks great. Where did you get the duck eggs?

    Darren,

    I've been on the hunt for duck eggs for a while and two of the people I've asked in the past, MAG and Joel Smith, kindly emailed to let me know a representative of Henry's Farm, Terra, Henry's sister, would have a small number of duck eggs available in Chicago this Saturday. She also had fresh from the farm chicken eggs, which I also purchased.

    Another way to find out would have been to subscribe to the Henry's Farm email newsletter, Food & Farm Notes for Henry's Farm Friends, which I have done.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - March 29th, 2008, 5:58 pm
    Post #20 - March 29th, 2008, 5:58 pm Post #20 - March 29th, 2008, 5:58 pm
    Harrison's in Glenview usually has frozen duck breasts in stock.

    Harrison's Poultry
    1201 Waukegan Road, Glenview
    (847) 724-0132
  • Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 7:44 pm Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    LAZ wrote:Harrison's in Glenview usually has frozen duck breasts in stock.

    LAZ,

    Thanks, but I was looking for fresh, not frozen.

    Duck egg topped Salade Lyonnaise with lardons, croutons pan toasted in bacon fat and dressing made with half olive oil/half bacon grease was terrific. And I'm guessing it's lucky, from a calorie/health standpoint, I couldn't find duck breast as I was liberal with rendered bacon drippings, even using it to dress our lentil and couscous salad.

    Salade Lyonnaise w/Duck Egg
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 1:41 am
    Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 1:41 am Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 1:41 am
    G Wiv wrote:Thanks, but I was looking for fresh, not frozen.

    What are the drawbacks of frozen duck breasts vs. fresh, other than having to thaw? What makes the difference remarkable enough that you are willing to do without rather than buy frozen?

    I have not done a duck comparison, but based on my experiences with turkey, I've been thinking that modern commercial flash-freezing techniques have reached a point where many frozen meats are as good or better than much so-called fresh. I usually have frozen chicken breasts on hand, and I can't say I've noticed any real differences between them and fresh ones (then again, I'm not a white-meat fan). The Allen Brothers steaks in my freezer are notably better than any fresh beef I've bought recently.

    With seafood, texture can suffer in freezing, although when the trade-off is flash-frozen on the boat vs. dead for days in transit, I'm not sure which is best.
  • Post #23 - March 30th, 2008, 8:06 am
    Post #23 - March 30th, 2008, 8:06 am Post #23 - March 30th, 2008, 8:06 am
    LAZ wrote:What are the drawbacks of frozen duck breasts vs. fresh, other than having to thaw?

    I have no personal prohibitions against using frozen meat, duck breast or otherwise, but I prefer to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator. Duck breast was for that evenings early dinner, when fresh was not available I called an audible.
    LAZ wrote:What makes the difference remarkable enough that you are willing to do without rather than buy frozen?

    Given proper flash-freezing and handling all the way to your table, plus proper (slow) thaw time there is slight, though significant, difference. What I find most noticeable is previously frozen meat tends to be dryer than fresh/never frozen. I am not a food scientist, but I understand this has to do with ice crystals formed in the freezing process (which very low temp flash-freezing minimizes) breaking the cell structure casing liquid to leak during the thawing/cooking process. Rapid defrosting tends to exacerbate cell structure damage.

    If I had absolutely needed duck breast I would have gone to Viet Hoa, bought a whole fresh duck and boned out my own breasts, or fought the Saturday afternoon traffic to Fox & Obel, which carries fresh duck breast. Though it seems to me two top tier grocery stores and an upscale meat market in a major city should have a supply on hand.

    What ended up as our main course, a mix of lentils de Puy, simmered with sauteed carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and mixed with couscous, was a much healthier alternative given my liberal use of bacon fat in the Salade Lyonnaise.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Viet Hoa Plaza
    1051 W Argyle St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-334-1028

    Fox & Obel
    401 E Illinois
    Chicago IL 60611
    312-410-7301
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - March 30th, 2008, 8:57 am
    Post #24 - March 30th, 2008, 8:57 am Post #24 - March 30th, 2008, 8:57 am
    In mid-winter I bought a whole Moulard duck breast from Hudson Valley Foie Gras at Gepperths Market on Halsted. These were great. I served the breast with a sour cherry sauce made from a farmers market cherries that I had preserved last summer.

    These are the breasts from the ducks they use to produce foie gras. Gepperths also had foie gras itself. Perhaps they have other duck products also; I don't recall. The breasts were vacuum sealed. My recollection is that they were fresh/thawed, though I could be mistaken.

    Note that the website doesn't list duck products, so I don't know if this meals they don't have them in stock all of the time. Definitely call ahead.

    Gepperths Market
    1964 N. Halsted Chicago, Il.
    (773)549-3883
    http://www.gepperthsmarket.com/
  • Post #25 - March 30th, 2008, 5:39 pm
    Post #25 - March 30th, 2008, 5:39 pm Post #25 - March 30th, 2008, 5:39 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I have no personal prohibitions against using frozen meat, duck breast or otherwise, but I prefer to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator. Duck breast was for that evenings early dinner, when fresh was not available I called an audible....

    Given proper flash-freezing and handling all the way to your table, plus proper (slow) thaw time there is slight, though significant, difference. What I find most noticeable is previously frozen meat tends to be dryer than fresh/never frozen.

    Thanks.

    G Wiv wrote:Though it seems to me two top tier grocery stores and an upscale meat market in a major city should have a supply on hand.

    It does. Particularly when, as JiLS noted upthread, we are just a few hours from the country's largest duck processors. I can only imagine that there isn't enough demand.

    I wonder whether, if everyone in this forum made a point of asking for duck breasts every time we went to a store, we could create a market?

    G Wiv wrote:much healthier alternative given my liberal use of bacon fat in the Salade Lyonnaise.

    :D
  • Post #26 - March 30th, 2008, 6:14 pm
    Post #26 - March 30th, 2008, 6:14 pm Post #26 - March 30th, 2008, 6:14 pm
    G Wiv wrote:If I had absolutely needed duck breast I would have gone to Viet Hoa, bought a whole fresh duck and boned out my own breasts, or....


    Golly! :shock:

    Buy the duck breast at Viet Hoa, by all means. But let's stop right there, okay? No DIY surgery. The pain would have been extraordinary and, assuming you didn't pass out from it, I imagine it would have altered your posture irremediably!

    Next time, buy the duck and then call a doctor. (Or someone who plays one on tv, for god's sake!)

    :lol:


    (Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation!)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #27 - March 30th, 2008, 8:07 pm
    Post #27 - March 30th, 2008, 8:07 pm Post #27 - March 30th, 2008, 8:07 pm
    Funny this should come up this weekend, as this weekend I had the good fortune of meeting Paul St. John of Grandma's eggs in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Mr. St. John raises chickens and ducks, turkeys and even geese (as well as a bit of beef, pork and lamb). He's got eggs up the wazoo. Actually not really up the wazoo in the sense that he does not have that many eggs, but I mean that he has tiny bantam eggs and medium eggs and large eggs and jumbo eggs and eggs so large he only sells six per carton. There's duck eggs and turkey eggs as well.

    You can pick up Paul's eggs at his farm. During the summer he'll be at the Geneva Farmer's Market. Feel free to contact him:

    Grandma’s Farm Fresh Eggs-Ogle Family Farm
    42W352 Prairie, Sugar Grove
    630-466-4616

    Note, on the fresh/frozen poultry thing. My understanding, and I could be not quite right on this (totally) is that all poultry when processed is chilled to near freezing, whether the poultry is subsequently frozen or not, so all poultry gets the "frozen effect" regardless. It's one of the reasons (I think) that the fresh kill stuff is so superior.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #28 - March 31st, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Post #28 - March 31st, 2008, 2:54 pm Post #28 - March 31st, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Heh-heh Gary, you should move to Montreal! I'm just back from my neighborhood IGA. I bought two pkgs of duck confit (total 1 drummie, 1 thigh, 4 wings) for $12 and change. There were two brands of fresh duck, fresh legs, two brands of magret, and 3 brands of half-breast filets.

    Sorry to quack about it, but there you are!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #29 - March 31st, 2008, 4:17 pm
    Post #29 - March 31st, 2008, 4:17 pm Post #29 - March 31st, 2008, 4:17 pm
    Geo wrote:Heh-heh Gary, you should move to Montreal! I'm just back from my neighborhood IGA. I bought two pkgs of duck confit (total 1 drummie, 1 thigh, 4 wings) for $12 and change. There were two brands of fresh duck, fresh legs, two brands of magret, and 3 brands of half-breast filets.

    Sorry to quack about it, but there you are!

    Geo


    You're killing me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - March 31st, 2008, 4:26 pm
    Post #30 - March 31st, 2008, 4:26 pm Post #30 - March 31st, 2008, 4:26 pm
    It gets worse. Yesterday lunch, Debbie (the notorious The Other Dr. Gale) and I were in the Premiere Moisson bakery at the marché Jean-Talon with LTHer geli when Gwiv called. It took everything I had in me not to bellow

    "bwwwaaahhhhahahahahah!" in such clarity that Gary would faint away.

    You should visit too. Call Geo for a good time.

    :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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