Yesterday was Sunday, so I imagine you can guess what was going on at our place. It was the turn of the young pekin ducks that we hatched out earlier in the year and never got round to killing.
Originally the females were going to live with a friend, but then she saw how big they were and decided she needed time to make a pond first! So we were thinking whether to do all 12, just the 5 males, or the males and a few females.
And then, with impeccable timing two of the females laid their first tiny little eggs. We don’t eat that much meat, people like our duck eggs, and the ducks had just demonstrated their productivity, the girls were spared.
We spent the morning killing the five drakes and then I plucked and gutted them.
We used the giant saucepan that our friends Bob and Eileen gave us to help with plucking – it really is huge.
Half way through this gorgeous, but naughty dog burst into the smallholding and set about chasing – and catching – chickens.
Luckily some campers caught her and managed to avert a chicken massacre which she was hell-bent on enacting. We then spent some time looking for the owner, who probably wants to either work on his recall or not let her off the lead in a strange place. He was no where to be seen. Anyway, after we left a message at the pub, he duly turned up and reclaimed his dog – they were both on holiday for the weekend or something. I am not saying another thing about this ……no I am not ….. but really!!!
After dispatching we ringed the 7 females with black rings so we know who was born in which year. We now have 12 female pekin ducks and 1 drake.
I then finished preparing the birds.
Come on – wouldn’t you want to stay at a campsite where reception looked like this? I reckon people love us because of the welcome they get!
All 5 drakes weighed in at over 8lbs each. Three for the freezer for when friends come round, one to eat this week and one chopped up into breasts and legs for smoking and confit. I roasted the carcass before making stock with it, but kept the fat for my confit – I now have enough. The livers will go for pate, the hearts became a delicious lunch and Kainaat will have the feet.
By the time I had done all this I was starving. I halved and pan fried 3 of the hearts with four halved tomatoes. Then I cracked and cooked the two baby duck eggs, splashed about some balsamic vinegar and ate the whole lot on toast.
It’s not pretty, but it was delicious and I was viciously hungry.
Work like a farmer, eat like a farmer – you can’t buy this stuff in the shops …..
For dinner I rubbed the remaining duck with salt and Chinese five-spice and then roasted it. We ate it with pancakes (actually corn tortillas), hoisin sauce, cucumber (the greenhouse is still producing like crazy) and some spring onions I bought from the shop!
There would have been more photos of the delicious dinner but I was exhausted and hungry … again.
N.B. The spring onions I planted in the gutters were a total failure – probably a result of overwatering and the soil being too wet – need to work on this before next spring.