Hens Spat

I’m sure you don’t see this very often. 😉 This is speckly hen and one of our duck hens fighting. The duck hen has a brood of some 16 ducklings and she doesn’t like old speckly grabbing their food and pecking them. These fights are usually quite harmless because the animals can flee for safety – they are not confined in pens or coops.

henfight1

henfight2

henfight3

henfight4

henfight5

henfight6

henfight7

henfight8

henfight9

Old speckly hen has always been quite a bully, sometimes resulting in duckling fatalities because of repetitive pecking – so honestly, she had it coming.

Generally, ducks are not as bloody and violent in their fights compared to chickens. Without the sharp claws and beaks, ducks can’t really inflict wounds and can really just rely on their weight and the strength of their wings to subdue their opponents. So, this fight just ended with old speckly hen running away and mommy duck hissing at her. I doubt that speckly hen learned her lesson though …

When in Bohol …

Finally, we managed to visit the restaurant that buys our ducks! I have looked them up on Trip Advisor earlier and saw that they went up and down the 1-5 ranking of best restaurants in Bohol. I have often been disappointed with culinary experiences here but wondered if this place will disappoint my pessimism – if they appreciate the exquisite flavour of barbary duck then they must be more sophisticated than the usual folks who are happy with the same bland menu every season.

I went there with my husband and ordered: Salad Niçoise, house wine (white wine), Spaghetti Niçoise, Mexican Beef, Black Coffee and Coffee Grand Marnier. It was all absolutely amazingly good food!! Thank goodness!! The staff were so friendly and worked hard too!

saladNiçois

Here’s the Salad Niçoise (above) which doesn’t look particularly impressive but the taste is amazing. The salad vegetables and herbs here are delightfully refreshing and flavourful, as it turns out, the place have their own herb and vegetable garden.The freshness of such simple ingredients as tomatoes, basil and cucumbers make such an enormous difference in the quality of this salad.

Both the Salad Niçoise and Spaghetti Niçoise also gave me an idea as to how I can put more fish in our diet. The dressing with anchovies and the seared tuna were just perfect.

spaghettiNiçois

Here is the Mexican Beef which I nearly finished before I could take a photo! I often order beef to see how good a restaurant is because a bad restaurant would often have tough pieces of meat in pathetic servings. But this beef was tender and not overcooked or over-sauced and over-spiced. If you have excellent ingredients, there is no need to be garish!

mexicanbeef

The coffee was excellent, and in Bohol it is so easy to ruin good coffee beans! Thank goodness, this restaurant knew how to brew good coffee. The French coffee I ordered was also excellent. I was a bit nervous because I often have allergic reactions to both milk and alcohol but I experienced no discomfort with both the cream and the Grand Marnier. Often, I have associated my problems with the quality of the liquor.

blackcoffee

coffeegrandmafrnier

It was really great to get to know this place and indeed, quite an honour that they are serving our ducks here!

Here (below) are some photos, this time of the herb and vegetable gardens that the restaurant maintains. I cannot stress enough what a difference it makes to have these ingredients fresh! Hopefully, our own garden will get better over time and provide us with our own fresh produce. It hasn’t been easy with the bad and rocky soil but over the years, it is getting better!

Anyway, when in Bohol, do take the time to visit The Pearl Restaurant at Linaw Beach Resort on Panglao Island. Cheers!

Linggo ng Pato!

 

duckconfit0

OK, yesterday was Duckerday, today it’s Linggo ng Pato! 😜

This time, it’s the duck legs, breast, liver, gizzard and heart. I decided to cook the duck legs and breast ala confit. However, I didn’t bother to salt, cure or marinate the meat. I also didn’t have enough duck fat to use for the confit, so I got some palm oil and used that instead.

Cooking duck meat in oil is fantastic because oil heats up really fast, stays hot, and cooks deep into the meat. You actually save more energy than cooking meat in water like stew. Anyway, the only other ingredients I added to the oil were: salt, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, tomatoes, black peppercorns and garlic.

duckconfit1

When the duck legs and breast were close to super tender, I added in the heart and gizzard (sliced a bit so they cook easier). The result, is absolutely fantastic! I should add: (1) curing, salting or marinating duck meat is probably unnecessary because duck meat (well maybe at least OUR ducks, 😄) is already very flavourful; (2) curing and salting only dries up and meat and makes it tougher so it is not necessary!; (3) those native tomatoes are the BEST tasting tomatoes, they have more flavour than those huge expensive hybrid tomatoes!

duckconfit3

And here’s what I did with the liver – I used a bit of the oil and bits of garlic and tomatoes from the confit, then used that to cook the liver, adding water when the pan dries a bit, de-glazing it and bringing out that delicious brown sauce!!!! I served the liver with a bit of chilli and singakamas (jicama) from the garden. This liver is brilliant, absolutely fantastic, smooth like your most expensive foie gras can ever be smooth!

Also, I think this duck liver is much larger than the usual because this duck is part of my experiment on fattening phase for ducks. I will write about that later when I get more results.

duckconfit2

In the meantime, I am just so ecstatic with the result of this cooking experiment! I would never find this fantastic quality of duck meat (and cooking of course hahah! 😂) anywhere else! Cheers! 😄

Duck Weekend: Duck springrolls

Greetings, my ducks! 😜 It’s a weekend and we had a duck selected for weekend meal and here it is! I recorded a video of my amazing butchering skills but decided not to post it here — at least not for now. 😄 Maybe later! But you can see in the photos the dressed duck (thanks to the great skills of our lady butcher, Terry), and then me butchering the duck, then the finished product – duck meat, liver and heart on one side and the bones and trims on the other side.
butcheraduck1

butcheraduck3

butcheraduckfo

For today, I decided to deal with the bones and trimmings. The cats think that’s a much better idea too! The duck is not very large, a dressed weight of 1.3kg, so it will not render a lot of fat. So I thought that I can probably use the meat for confit later and, for today – the bones, skin, fat and trimmings for spring rolls and broth.

The process is simple: put the bones, fat and trimmings into a pot and heat up, simmer, boil in its own fat and juices, brown it then add water (not too much) and seasonings. My choice of seasoning is salt, pepper and 5-spice powder. Let this cook for a while until the meat is soft and can be easily removed from the bones.

duckbroth

Let this cool for a bit then start separating the meat from the bones (cats are waiting…).  Shred the meat up, you may or may not wish to include the skins. Here’s what I got from my bones and trimmings – the bones on one side and the shredded meat on the other side.

duckmeatbones

Now that the cats are busy eating, I can start cooking. I have prepared some onion, garlic, chopped carrots and cabbage. The rice paper for the spring rolls are ready too. I use these Vietnamese rice paper. When your ingredients are ready and you’re ready to roll, you can prepare the rice paper. You don’t cook this rice paper. You just soften it by putting a damp towel over it until it is soft enough to roll. This type of rice paper is eaten fresh! I love this because sometimes I’m too lazy to fry stuff … 😜

wrapandveggies

Here, I’ve put duck and veggies together and cooked, seasoned, added a bit of the broth, and let it cool down a bit before attempting to start rolling!

mixitallup

And here are my finished duck spring rolls!!! Served with Hoisin sauce! Now these are two ingredients you shouldn’t skip in the preparation of this dish: the 5-Spice powder and the Hoisin Sauce. Those two make such an enormous difference in the taste, flavour of this duck dish.

duckspringrolls1

And here’s the spring rolls served with a salad of home-grown singkamas (jicama). I was surprised how well these went together!!! I think that’s because Vietnamese spring rolls (duck or vermicelli or other) are often served with a dipping of sweet vinegar, and the vinegar dressing in the salad just partnered perfectly with these spring rolls. PLUS the crunch of the singkamas compliments the softness of the rice paper – fantastic!

Bon appĂ©tit! 😍

duckspringrolls2

duckspringrolls4

 

Duck Availability for January-March 2016

mommyduck

New Year Greetings from Duckduckbro in Baclayon!

If you’re looking for free-range ducks to serve, we got them!

Our ducks are the Muscovy variety, also known as Barbary Duck. At the moment, we have 10 ducks to dispatch until the end of January. In end of February, there will be 5 more available. By end of March to beginning of April, there will be at least 15 ducks available. These ducks are at least 4 months old, providing fantastic, lean and tender duck meat.

We also have native chickens which are a very important non-meat breed of chickens known for their extraordinary flavour. If you are interested, we have 5 available, and by end of February, will have 10 more ready to dispatch, then another 10 by end of March.

If you’re interested in further expanding Bohol’s culinary experience, please help us reduce our growing duck (and native chicken) population! Please buy Barbary! Details are provided below.

Best wishes,

Fatima at Duckduckbro!

About Our Ducks

Our ducks are allowed to free-range in the garden with their own pond for swimming. They eat commercial feeds combined with chopped or grated coconuts, chopped banana trunks, taro roots and unripe jackfruits. The baby ducklings are kept in a separate pen to protect them from crushing. They are fed commercial booster feeds or hog grower feeds, and at 6 weeks old are let out into the garden with the older ducks.

How Much Our Ducks (and Native Chickens) Cost

Dressed Ducks (Barbary Ducks)

(These are ducks less than 6 months old so the meat is softer. These are prepared with head and feet intact. Liver, heart and gizzard are included. Let us know if you would like to include the intestines and blood. Place your order at least two days in advance so that your duck can be prepared).

Dressed Duck – 250 pesos per kilo

For orders/inquiries contact:

Fatima Lasay

Email: fats.lasay@gmail.com

Make an appointment to visit:

Call or Text Fatima/Penny

Mobile: +63 9298057723

Our location:

San Roque, Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines


Do We Deliver?

We’re thinking about it! We’re so low-tech we don’t even have a vehicle. But we can hire a neighbour with a tricycle to deliver to your place or we can commute some ducks! 😉 So that’ll be extra cost. Contact us and we’ll talk about it.

See our ducks online at http://www.duckduckbro.com/

Socialise with our ducks at https://www.facebook.com/duckduckbro

Don’t Know How to Cook Duck????

With some 3 to 5 ducks, you can feed the whole town! 🙂

Cooking with Duck

Earlier this year, my sister treated us to a fantastic meal at a Cantonese restaurant in Quezon City. We ordered the duck, of course! Now if I remember correctly, this was a duck served 3 ways (or was it 4)? Anyway, the duck found in Chinese restaurants are usually the pekin duck and not the muscovy or barbary duck.

Both pekin and muscovy are domestic duck breeds. The pekin breed is descended from the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and the muscovy duck breed is descended from the muscovy (Cairina moschata).

The meat of the pekin duck is probably what most people are familiar with since it is the staple in many Chinese restaurants. This duck meat is quite fatty and moist and imparts a taste and flavour that is typically associated with “duck” flavour. The meat of the muscovy duck, however, is quite different. It is not as fatty and it has a flavour much closer to that of sirloin steak or beef.

Anyway, here are a few photos of the meal at the Chinese restaurant. Typically, the duck is baked and the meat is carefully carved. The meat is used to prepare a number of dishes (such as chopped and mixed with vegetables and spices, and eaten by wrapping in lettuce; or wrapped in rice paper with onion leeks and hoisin sauce), and the bones used to make soup. The idea is to use the whole duck to serve a fantastic meal.

Here is a fantastic video I found on The Lexicon of Food (below), showing how duck can be prepared from beak to butt! – nothing wasted. This looks more like muscovy duck meat to me! I love it totally – definitely a must try!

Happy New Year! 🙂

Ducks Mimic Eating Motions

Shortly after feeding the ducks this afternoon, I noticed this unusual behaviour amongst a couple of mature female ducks. These are mature egg-laying duck hens. They have just finished eating when they began to mimic the sweeping motions of feeding with their beaks. Here are two videos showing this peculiar behaviour. The second video shows the ducks stretching their necks, moving their heads upwards.

I assumed it was part of a mating ritual but the first video might dispute this, where there is a mature male duck (drake) nearby, drinking from a plastic basin, and inadvertently pushing one of the duck hens aside, a bit of a scuffle ensuing.

Do you know what this behaviour means?

17 Portraits

I was able to spend some time with the ducks and take these photos before it started to rain.

Focus on: Passion Flower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Passion Flower

This is the beautiful enchanting flower of the Passiflora edulis, or the passion flower. The plant is a vine and the fruits ripen from a green to a yellow colour. The fruit is pulpy, containing numerous edible seeds, with a distinct sweet aroma. This is one of few plants that survived the drought from February-June of this year.

The seeds of this plant are now available for Seed Save and Swap!

passionfruits

Open-Pollinated Seeds (OP) from the OPA

We visited the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and availed of these open-pollinated seeds free of charge. Seed dispersal is one of many on-going projects of the Bohol OPA. See more at their website.

These are the seeds we got – so colourful! The colours indicate the seeds have been treated with fungicide to prevent fungi from spoiling stored seeds.

opaseeds

In the meantime, our own Seed Save and Swap Season 1 (2015) is ongoing! Learn more at Backyard Seeds.

From Wikipedia: “Open pollinated” generally refers to seeds that will “breed true.” When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents. This is in contrast to the seeds produced by plants that are the result of a recent cross (such as, but not confined to, an F1 hybrid), which are likely to show a wide variety of differing characteristics. Open-pollinated varieties are also often referred to as standard varieties or, when the seeds have been saved across generations or across several decades, heirloom varieties. While heirlooms are usually open-pollinated, open-pollinated seeds are not necessarily heirlooms; open-pollinated varieties are still being developed.

One of the challenges in maintaining an open-pollinated variety is avoiding introduction of pollen from other strains. Based on how broadly the pollen for the plant tends to disperse, it can be controlled to varying degrees by greenhouses, tall wall enclosures, field isolation, or other techniques.

Because they breed true, the seeds of open-pollinated plants are often saved by home gardeners and farmers. Popular examples of open-pollinated plants include heirloom tomatoes, beans, peas, and many other garden vegetables.