Duck & waffles, with smoked duck confit and crispy cracklings by Olivia Roszkowski (Natural Gourmet Institute)
Sunday afternoon, Slow Food NYC and the Hudson Valley Duck Farm teamed up to host the annual ‘Duck, Duck! Rye?’ event at Jimmy Carbone's Jimmy’s No. 43 in the Lower East Side. This Duck dish competition, themed the “quack down”, featured eight notably talented chefs and their homemade entrees:
Andrew Food (Brisket King of NY) - Thai Duck Curry
Ash Fulk (Hill Country Hospitality) and David Vigil (East New York Farms) - Duck necks with local pickles and aioli
Auria Abraham (Aurias Malaysian Kitchen) - Duck Rendang
Brandon Byrd (Chef Parker Red/Ted & Honey)- Duck pastrami with creamy slaw, pickled mustard seeds, rye crostini
Linda Munguia – Duck cornmeal meatballs with anchovy cream dipping sauce
Lynn Ripley – Duck Carnitas with green salsa Fresca on handmade purple corn taco or flour tortilla
Olivia Roszkowski (Natural Gourmet Institute) – Duck & waffles, with smoked duck confit and crispy cracklings
Sam Sherman (Exec Chef, Applewood Restaurant) - Duck heart and tongue ragout with roasted shallots, creamy polenta, Parmesan cheese and duck jus
Edwin Yowell of Slow Food- Duck Charcuterie
What goes better with Duck than Whiskey? These distillers paired up the perfect Rye’s for the event:
Daric Schlesselman, Van Brunt Stillhouse Whiskey
The judges consisted of deserving critics; Anthony Fassio from Slow Food NYC, Izabella Wojcik from the James Beard Foundation, Matt Igoe from Hudson Valley Duck Farm, and Jimmy’s No. 43’s very own, Jimmy Carbone. After a few hours of savoring, the judges came to their final verdicts and declared the winners, which also happened to be my personal favorites!
Fiorella with the Winners: Oliva, Ash and David
Tying for first place were the Fried Duck Necks by Chef Ash Fulk/David Vigil and the Duck and Waffles by Chef Olivia Roszkowski.
Duck necks with local pickles and aioli
I took a special fondness to the duck necks and got the inside scoop on how they were prepared right from Chef Ash himself. “We seasoned them for a whole day and then we covered them in duck fat, which is the way you should do any cooking. Threw them in the smoker for about six hours, let it smoke so it has a nice oak on it, chopped them up, then breaded and fried them, just like grandma does--my grandma anyway.” Ash has competed on Top Chef and is now leading Hill Country Hospitality as their Culinary Director.
Olivia shared with us how her unexpected cooking of duck at an early restaurant job turned into a passion that she now shares with her own students at the Natural Gourmet Institute.
FYI: Duck Confit
La Confit de Carnard, the go-to French technique of cooking duck legs in its own fat--how can it get better? It is a specialty of Gascony and is centuries old process of preserving duck by salt curing duck in its own fat. Generally, the meat is rubbed in salt, garlic and sometimes other herbs, the duck is covered and then refrigerated for up to 36 hours. The meat is then placed in the oven and cooked in a low oven temp of about 50-135 degrees for about 4- 10 hours. Later when the meat is cooled, the meat can be transferred to a canning jar or other container and completely submerged in the fat.The duck confit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months, or several weeks if kept in a reusable plastic container and the fat should top the meat by at least one inch.