We had the great fortune of receiving a gift of several whole smoked ducks. We decided to take one and break it down. First, we quartered the whole duck and placed it on a bed of Granny Smith apples and celery with thyme and cup of water in the oven at 350° for about 2 hours. The duck was already fully cooked, so we were looking to break the duck down into shredded meat. After cooling over night, we shredded the meat, and separated the fat from the gelatinous stock. Some of the shredded meat we then placed in small jars and topped with melted fat to make a smoked duck rillette.
We intended to return to our exploration of the hand pie with the remaining shredded duck, but instead we went with pot pies. With the expert culinary assistance of my daughter, we diced onions, celery, and carrots and sauteed them in duck fat and a bit more thyme and salt until the carrots were slightly softened. We then added the shredded duck and the stock, thickening with corn starch. We allowed the mixture to cool to room temperature before spooning it into the pastry lined cups of a large cup cake pan, then topped with pastry and baked at 350° for 45 minutes.
The hot pastry, savory gravy, smoked duck combined for a soul satisfying meal. It brought back memories of childhood meals, but taken a new direction. They should make a smoked duck pot pie.
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