Searching for old book of recipes, history, etc.

caroline94535February 19, 2014

Hi, I'm Caroline; I normally post at the KT but I need a book / recipe search help. I've lost one of my favorite duck recipes and I can't remember the book it came from.

The recipe came from an old library book. I had read it about 20 years ago - or longer! Was it in Little Rock? Spain? Delaware? I can't remember. The book was a combination of history, recipes, and dining at the end of the 19th century. It was a wealth of entertainment and a glimpse into the dining habits of another time and place.

One of the recipes was for a marinated duck; I've made it several times over the years. I don't remember the name of the recipe, either.

I called the recipe "Drunk Duck" because the whole duck is marinated for three days in a blend of brandy, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and ??? I can't remember all the spices.

I am grasping at straws and hoping some of the well-read folks here may have a clue as to what book I'm talking about - or how I could go about searching for it. The computer that held my older recipes has long crashed and I can't find my written copy anywhere.

I've spent hours Googling, with no luck.

I think the recipe came from a 1890s NYC restaurant. They used fresh, wild canvas-back ducks.

The recipe calls for mixing a blend of brandy and spices, using no plum or orange sauces, no soy sauces, nothing that would be considered a "Chinese" flavor.

The duck is marinated for three days, dried in the fridge for an additional day, and then slow roasted by turning it and increasing the temps every 30 minutes.

I don't remember how long this turning and increasing the temps process lasts but the duck becomes a very dark, golden brown with succulent crispy skin.

Once the duck has thawed It takes five days to get it to the dinner table. The finished dish is worth every minute.

Could anyone here point me in a direction to find this old book with the lack of real info I have about it?

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I love a challenge......
You have probably already discovered this, but in the late 1800's and very early 1900's some sites have noted that NYC's Waldorf Astoria Hotel was known for it's wonderfully prepared Wild Canvasback duck.

It appears that apricot was used in the recipes, along with cognac or brandy.

I'd be inclined to contact the food doyen Martha Stewart through her Sirius radio program or perhaps on her website to see if her minions can come with anything for you.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:19AM
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YoYoBon! Thank you so much for the info, and the email. Thanks to you I now have two more sources to search. This is just another reason to love the Garden Web and all its branches.

The recipe I'm searching for did not have any fruit, but it was from one of the "grand" hotels so it may have been another item on the menu.

I will try to contact Ms. Martha. She may enjoy a sleuthing session through the upscale late Victorian/early Edwardian dining establishments.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Good luck !
Let us know if you find it :0)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:57PM
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