Salted Duck Legs, Green Beans, and Cornmeal Dumplings

The dumplings are made with a recipe of Stephanie Alexander’s and are so splendid that I cannot improve on them in any way.  I hope she does not mind my using it, as they are ideal companions to the salted duck legs.

This marks the end of the duck legs recipes from the cookbook (not including duck leg confit, but that’s not really a recipe, per se).  They’re going out in grand fashion though, as the dumplings really are as splendid as Mr. Henderson claims.  Then again, I’m having trouble trying to figure out how they’d ever be bad considering they have bacon and duck fat in them.

Here’s the obligatory meat item in the brine bucket picture.  After removing the duck legs, I dropped a picnic ham in for next weeks update and put the bucket back in the fridge.

And here’s the obligatory meat item being boiled with various things like onions, leeks, carrots and such.  This was the exact same method for cooking the Poached Salted Duck Legs that I made back in January this year.

Now, onto the new part: The dumplings.  As I mentioned before, the dumplings include some minced smoked bacon …

… and some rendered duck fat.  Two of the worlds most delicious items, combined?  This is “you got chocolate in my peanut butter, you got peanut butter in my chocolate” area, folks.  Both were put in a bowl with some eggs, yellow cornmeal, finely diced whole bread, and one more thing…

… grated horseradish.  The horseradish added no real heat to the dumplings, but there was this was amazingly unique flavor it brought to the party.  If I were to make a set of dumplings with the horseradish, and another set with without it, I can guarantee that the horseradish dumplings would be gone first.  They are just that good.

My wife and I formed the dumpling mixture into three quarter inch balls…

… and then they were placed into a boiling pan of the duck cooking liquor for about 10 minutes.

The rest of the cooking liquor was strained, and then used to cook the haricots verts.

Small disclosure:  I had no idea that “haricot vert” meant “green bean” in French.  My wife kindly informed me of that fact.  I should probably learn French.

Here’s the final dish, completed.  The salted duck legs were delicious, just like last time, but the real star of this meal was the dumplings.  I suppose I could reiterate all of their wonderful qualities again, but I’d just be wasting your time.  This recipe is like an exotic alternative to chicken and dumplings, and I’m very happy to have it added to my cooking repertoire.

Hrm, maybe my French isn’t as bad as I feared.

One down, ninety nine to go.