There are times when a simple conversation can spark a wonderful spiral of ideas. That’s typically how conversation go with my friend, Sherrod. One of my favorite bloggers and an out of the box food artisan, Sherrod is that friend that casually introduces you to the hidden splendors of food you never imagined. It also helps that he is an excellent cook, and alongside his best friend, Danielle, runs a successful food blog - Slice and Torte.
In a causal conversation via Instagram, he mentioned his former life in New York and how one of his favorite comfort foods at the time was fried duck necks. Fried duck necks? I thought. It sounded interesting, however in my mind could not place the flavor, texture or consistency. Little did I know, almost serendipitously, I would meet a whole meat butcher the who carried duck, and elated about my interest in purchasing some duck necks.
I took a trip to her butcher shop, Primal Supply Meats. The shop, located in South Philadelphia, sources locally, sustainably raised meats. She greeted me with a smile, remembering me from the event. After a few moments of chit chat - I left with some fresh duck necks, ready to embark on a new culinary journey.
After scouring the internet for inspiration and a recent infatuation with fried rice - I was able to craft a recipe for Duck Neck Fried Rice that I am proud of. By seasoning the duck necks with crushed red pepper and salt, then roasting the necks in their own fat, I have been able to perfect the flavor. After shredding the meat in skin into fine pieces, it became an easy companion to a simple fried rice recipe.
An instant favorite in our household, this is the perfect unconventional cold-weather dish that packs a bit of heat. To top it off - duck necks tend to be an uncommon ingredient, so using them creates a wow factor worthy of trying at your next dinner party! Check out the recipe below!
Duck Neck Fried Rice Recipe
4-5 Raw Duck Necks
1 tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Cups Day Old Rice
1 Large White Onion (Thinly Sliced)
1/3 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Egg (Slightly Beaten)
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Chopped Green Onions (Optional)
For the Roasted Duck Necks
(Note: The shredded duck neck meat can be prepared in advanced, then used whenever you are ready to begin the Fried Rice. This roasting technique was adapted from another excellent recipe I found for Roasted Duck Neck Crostini on the blog What’s Cooking at Ray’s.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking oil, this will prevent the duck necks from sticking to the pan.
Remove the skin from the duck necks and place them to the side (you will be using them in a moment). Season the de-skinned duck neck meat with salt and crushed red pepper.
Line the duck necks in the baking dish, and place the removed skins on top of each neck. The skin will render copious amounts of fat, which will contribute to the cooking and overall flavor of the meat.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour covered, and then for an additional hour uncovered.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a fork (or in my case kitchen gloves and my fingers) shred the duck neck meat. You may also thinly slice the skins, which will be crispy and add some texture to your dish.
Place the shredded meat in a bowl or refrigerate until you are ready to make the fried rice.
For the Fried Rice
Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium heat and add sesame oil.
Add onions and shredded carrots and begin frying to reach desired tenderness. As the onions and carrots are frying, push them to one side of the pan.
Pour the slightly beaten egg into the side of the pan that is now clear. Using a spatula or chopsticks, scramble the egg until it is cooked thoroughly.
Once the vegetables are tender and the egg is fully scrambled, add in the rice and the shredded duck neck meat (and skins).
Pour soy sauce over top all ingredients, and mix together until coated evenly. Continue cooking until all the mixture is heated all the way through.
Serve in bowl topped with green onions (optional).