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Duck Neck Crostini with Blueberry Jam
March 2014 Issue / Vol. 2, No. 6                                                                                                                                                                                      by Chef Ryan Clark

Chef Ryan Clark is Partner/Executive Chef of Agustín Kitchen in Tucson, Arizona.

His list of accolades include:
  • Food & Wine magazine's nomination for Best New Chef, Southwest;
  • Tucson Iron Chef for the last three years;
  • World's Greatest Margarita at 2012 World Margarita Championship;
  • Best Salsa Southwest at the 2012 Southern Arizona Salsa & Tequila Challenge.
FOODIES WEST asked Chef Ryan Clark to create a recipe using Minus 8 Icewine Vinegar. He liked the product so much, he used it all before we could get down there to shoot this TEST KITCHEN.

The Minus 8 people also sent him a bottle of their Concord 8 Vinegar, which contains fresh grape juice from their vineyard in Niagra Falls, Canada.
The kind of juice that makes award-winning wines.

Concord 8 is great.
It’s really great stuff.
I love it. - Ryan Clark


Clark decided to prepare Duck Neck Crostini with Blueberry Jam because he thought it was "something different." Here's how it all came about:   


The owner of a local duck farm just getting started contacted me a month-and-a-half ago wondering what chefs are looking for—size of breasts, livers, types of birds (quail, etc.). The duck samples they were giving me had unusually long necks. We wanted to do something different this summer, so I asked what they do with the necks. We were thinking about what kind of flavor we would pull from them. We braised them and although labor intensive, got more meat than we thought. It’s something you don’t see on a menu. We’re pairing it with the duck liver.

Stop in to order a plate this month!



  STEP #1:
   The Sous Vide Duck Necks


Start with a mirepoix of onion, carrots, celery, and crushed garlic.

Nothing too fancy here.




Load them up in a
sous vide bag
with a sprig of thyme . . .

. . . and some duck stock.



Add the Concorde 8.

The Concord not only flavors the meat,
but the vinegar breaks down the protein
structure and makes it more tender.

Season with salt and pepper,
vacuum seal,
and simmer at 91 degrees C.
for 4-1/2 hours.


Dump the finished veggies into a bowl—you can smell the vinegar—pull the necks out and let cool.

I just get in here with my hands and pull off all this neck meat. It’s nice and rich and a bit more gamey than the rest of the duck. I think it’s how a duck should taste—like a wild duck.

Strain the broth and place liquid in a pan and reduce to 1/2. Pour reduced stock out, leaving just a little bit to glaze the pan, and add the duck meat.

Add a touch of house-made butter, a bit of duck fat, pull off heat and mix together. You’re looking for that nice sheen. The vinegar really comes through here.

  STEP #2: The Pâté

  Soak duck livers overnight
   in milk.

    The milk pulls out the blood,
   which makes it less gamey

 One of the keys to successful
 cooking is to have a ridiculously
 large pepper mill. People take
 you more seriously.

  Let it rain. Always let the salt 
 rain down on the food for even

  Placed seasoned livers in the
  pan—lay them away from you so
 you don't get splashed with oil.

  Cook to medium, and then add
  duck fat, thyme, and butter. 

  The duck fat and butter will
  give that mousse-like texture
  we're looking for. Remove the
  thyme . .

   . . . Pour into a blender, add a
   dash of Calvados and the
   cream, and puree. Place in the
   fridge to firm up.


We make our own butter for some of our dishes because there was no local butter, and we use a local dairy. We salt the hell out of this butter.

 STEP #3:  The Blueberry Jam

      Place blueberries in a sauté pan . . .

       . . . add a little salt and pepper—I
     like to season everything . . .

     . . . and a little wedge of fresh ginger.
    Peel and scrape it clean with a spoon
    and grate about 1/2 teaspoon with a


I want the juice to come out, so I crush the blueberries for a more natural flavor. You want to get to 212 degrees where the sugar will start to cook, and then cook for another 3 to 5 minutes to 220 degrees.

                         Smells good!


STEP #4:  The Assembly

     Cut some nice thick crostinis. Spread a
    thin layer of butter on them and toast.
    Get a nice toast. I'm using orange and
    date bread from Small Planet Bakery
    just across the street.

          Spread a glop of Pâté on a toasted
         crostini, and then mound some duck
         neck meat on top.


    Top with jam—you want to get some
    whole berries here. Then finish with



                        Sous Vide Duck Necks (recipe below)
                        Duck Liver Pâté (recipe below)
                        Blueberry Jam (recipe below)
4 each              Toasted crostinis


Spread some Duck Liver Pâté on toasted crostini; add a mound of Sous Vide Duck Neck meat; top with Blueberry Jam; finish with microgreens.

2 Servings


For the Sous Vide Duck Necks:

40 grams           Carrot, sliced
40 grams           Celery, sliced
60 grams           Onion, chopped
1 clove               Garlic, crushed
1 sprig               Thyme
50 grams           Concord 8 Vinegar
150 grams          Duck Stock (or chicken stock)
250 grams         Duck necks (about 2)
                         Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauté carrot, celery, onion, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper. Load all ingredients in a sous vide bag, vacuum seal and simmer at 91 degrees C. for 4-1/2 hours. When done, place the sous vide mixture into a bowl, take out duck necks, strain, and place broth into a saute pan and reduce to half. In the meantime, and remove meat from duck necks. Pour out reduced stock to leave a glaze in the pan. Add the duck meat and a touch of butter, take off heat.

For the Pâté:

100 grams          Duck liver
150 grams          Milk
50 grams            Butter
50 grams            Duck fat
25 grams            Heavy cream

Soak duck liver in milk overnight to 24 hours; drain. Sauté seasoned liver in blended oil (25% olive oil and 75% canola oil) to medium; add butter and duck fat; add thyme and remove from heat. Remove thyme, place in blender, and pureé.

For the Blueberry Jam

170 grams          Blueberries (about a pint)
170 grams          Sugar
1 teaspoon         Thyme
                          Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon      Fresh grated ginger

Place blueberries and sugar in sauté pan over medium heat. Crush berries to release juice and cook to 212 degrees; continue cooking 3 to 5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

A Tale of Two Chefs

Chef Ryan Clark

Chef's Larder

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