Prepare the duck stock: Remove any excess fat from the duck bones and render down for another use (basic technique 1). Chop the bones into small pieces. Heat half the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the bones and cook until evenly brown. Drain in a colander. Place the same frying pan back on the heat and add the remaining vegetable oil. Add the sliced mushrooms, shallots and onion and sauté until golden brown. When ready, drain in the same colander as the duck bones.
Place half the cooked duck bones and half the vegetables into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the fresh thyme and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 1–1½ hours, skimming frequently to remove any scum that floats to the surface. Pass the stock through a fine sieve discarding the bones and vegetables. Refrigerate the stock and allow to cool. Remove any fat that has set on the surface.
Place the remaining cooked bones and vegetables in a clean, heavy-based saucepan and pour over the cold duck stock to make a double duck stock, which will impart a more intense flavour to the finished jelly Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 1 hour, frequently skimming to remove any scum that floats to the surface. Again, pass the stock through a fine sieve, discarding the bones and vegetables, and refrigerate to cool. Remove any fat that has set on the surface. Place the Armagnac in a small saucepan and reduce to
To clarify the stock: Place the minced poultry, carrot, leek, celery, button mushrooms and egg whites into a bowl and beat together. Lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour the cold duck stock and reduced Armangac into a clean, heavy-based saucepan and beat in the mince mixture to evenly disperse through the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking on the bottom or around the sides of the saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cease stirring.
After 10–15 minutes, the minced poultry, vegetables and egg whites will rise to the surface, bringing all the impurities in the stock with them, and will form a crust. Continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes. Use a tablespoon to make a hole in the centre of the crust. Remove from the heat and ladle out the clarified stock, taking care not to break the crust. Pass the stock through a fine sieve lined with a double layer of muslin cloth or coffee filter paper into a clean stainless steel container. Taste the clarified duck stock and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate and allow the Armagnac jelly to set.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.