Cookbook: Duck, Duck, Goose

October 3 2013, 11:00 AM

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about the rise of duck eggs on local menus. In particular, I called out the duck egg crème brûlée on Corner House's menu (we review the restaurant in the current issue). When, a month or so later, I signed up for a CSA, I was both intrigued and intimidated that the weekly egg share was a mix of chicken and duck eggs. Having never cooked with duck eggs, I sought advice via Google searches, the Joy of Cooking, and those in the know. Then a review copy of Hank Shaw's book Duck, Duck, Goose (Ten Speed Press) landed on my desk.

This is the second book for Shaw, and it has become my definitive go-to for all things duck. It's here that I learned you can—usually—substitute a duck egg for a chicken egg (this despite many people thinking that one duck egg is equal to two chicken eggs). Although duck eggs are both richer and have slightly bigger yolks, working them into recipes is easier than I expected. The biggest difference comes in frying them—it's important to keep the heat low so the white doesn't become rubbery.

Duck, Duck, Goose, which grew out of Shaw's James Beard award-winning food blog, extends far beyond eggs and related recipes. Within the book, Shaw addresses the growing trend of duck and game birds in the American diet. "Over and over and over I was seeing duck on the menu," Shaw says of his extensive travels around the county. "And I'm not just talking about Michelin-starred restaurants. I'm talking third-tier restaurants in third-tier cities." When I asked what he attributes the rise in popularity to, he says, "Duck is fun to work with. It's the only animal we [cook] with that has that level of fat. It takes curing well and it has a variety of flavors depending on which part of the animal you're using.” In short, Duck, Duck, Goose goes a long way in demystifying a bird—and its eggs—that has mystified many a home cook.

Meet the author: On Monday, December 18, Shaw and chef Justin Brunson will partner on a “bill-to-tail” dinner at Old Major.

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