Duck Ragu

My good friend Rich had a snowboarding “incident” about a week ago. His Dr. told him to stay on the couch for awhile. I headed over during the week to hang out, play video games, and watch episodes of The Wire with him. I also cooked a meal for him with his favorite protien; duck! This simple duck ragu was somehow light and rich at the same time. Complex flavors with not that many ingredients, just quality food with attention paid to it. The kind of comfort food that will make you forget about your back pain!

Don’t let your eyes deceive you, this is NOT boiled goose! They actually had fresh duck at the normal grocery store! This is a half duck with one leg and one breast.

Making a duck stock and cooking the duck until it is tender and shreddy, but not sogging up the skin. I added about 2 cups of water to this and left it uncovered in the oven at 300 for 2 hours.

Not having a pasta roller is NOT an excuse to not make fresh pasta!!! (triple negative? but how else can I say this?)

After the duck came out of the oven, I fried the skin peices to make it nice and crisp.

Carrots, celery, and shallots in the pan. Garlic goes in after.

Then the duck stock and shredded duck peices.

So tasty.

This really was excellent.

Were the leftovers just as good rich?

A couple carrots, heart of celery, 2 onions, and a head of garlic. Chunk these up, peel the garlic, and put in an oven safe pot. Add some thyme. Add about 2 cups of water(It shouldn’t cover the veggies, but come up about half way). Lay a fresh half duck on the veggies, skin side up. Bake uncovered at 300 for 2 hours. Set the duck aside, then strain the stock. Remove the fat from the stock (there will be alot!) and save it in your freezer for something delicious in the future. Shred the duck into large chunks. Set the skin aside.

Are you following me? You now have some shredded duck, some tasty duck stock, and some dry, but not yet crispy, duck skin.

You should also have some fresh pasta. Make it like this. You can roll it by hand, but a pasta roller is better. If you have one, keep it at one of the thickest settings, then make short thick square spaghetti. Like in the pictures above.

Bring water to a boil. In a thick bottom large frying pan or dutch oven, saute some small diced carrots celery and  shallot for 5 minutes. Add garlic. 2 minutes. Add duck stock and shredded duck. Simer low for 10 minutes.

In a small frying pan, heat some oil and add the duck skin in pieces until it is crispy and set aside. It is similar to cooking bacon.

Season the water and add the pasta. Cook about 5 minutes. Place into pan with duck sauce and stir around for 2 minutes allowing the pasta to become one with the sauce. The sauce should just coat the pasta, so if there is excess sauce, leave it in the pan when serving.

This only served about 3 people. Use a whole duck and double the pasta if you want more servings.


  1. Looks excellent!
    (Because I’m a nerd: “Lacking a rolling pin is not an excuse for using store bought pasta.” Strunk and White would tell you to use positives over negatives whenever possible.)
    Love your site; keep up the good eats.

  2. a boombox is not a toy! richie what happened? haha “incident”? hope youre ok 🙂 food looks great of course.

  3. I’m going to be eating the leftover plate tonight for dinner. I’ll let you know how it tastes…
    Thanks for the well wishes, everyone.
    I have a compression fracture in my T11 Vertebrae (middle of my spine) from snowboarding a week or so ago.
    It’s my first serious snowboarding injury and I’ve been boarding for over 8 years now…
    I’m stir crazy on bed rest now, but I have wonderful friends that stayed with me the first week, cooking, hanging out, taking care of stuff. Thanks again, Dan.
    rc, fresh duck is here in the Boston area. I live in Malden.

  4. sorry for the late response,
    Leftovers were just as tasty. Make this meal, it’s so good.
    I’m actually craving this meal right now… along with your Homemade Mac and Cheese… I made your tacos Monday, too.
    mmmm comfort food.

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