The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Carneval in Rheda 2013 and a Duck to eat.

A Karneval Rosemontag from Rheda and a Vietnamese duck from Rick Stein
We had been chatting on the wildfood board about Rick Steins Vietnamese Spicy Duck and how nice it was. I had been defrosting my freezer (hopefully for the last time as when I move I shall be getting a chest freezer) and found amongst my other game 2 frozen (well they would be wouldn’t they) wild ducks. I decided to leave a one out for this recipe.

So as Rosemontag dawned bright and sunny, but perishing cold (-2°C) and a North wind. I was ready for action. The Karneval Parade didn’t set off until 13:00 and by the time it would reach Doktor Platz in Rheda (the best place to watch it as it has all of the food and drink stalls and tents) it would be 14:00, this was more than ample time to get the duck cooked so that I would only need to heat it through, cook the vegetable stir-fry and cook the rice whenever I got in in the evening (it has in the past been the next morning).

As I am on a serious weight reduction programme at the moment (almost there) I have added the Kcals in the recipe and it is not as bad as I at first thought it would be, that is because a wild duck does not have the fat that a farm reared one would have.

So first you shall require for 4 portions:

1 Wild duck (or small farmed duck) cut into 4 portions, cut down the middle and then each halved so you have 2 leg portions and 2 wing breast portions. I also had the neck so that was used as well.

50g or fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced (mandolin is great but watch your fingers)
50g of crushed garlic (it is a lot and not ideal for kissing in Karneval, which is why I ate it after)

1ltr of orange juice (the recipe said fresh but mine came out of a bottle)

4tbsp of fish sauce

1tbsp powdered sweetener (Rick used granulated sugar, but he isn’t a diabetic)

5 star anise (now they are all different sizes, so I used a mixture)

4 birds eye chillies (4 is the max I would use, for those that do not wish it so hot reduce number)

2 tsps. Of lemon grass (Rick used fresh, but he doesn’t live in Germany, mine came out of a jar)

Fresh ground black pepper

4 spring onions (Rick said 8 but these were bleeding big and I wanted the other 4 for the stir-fry)

The recipe said ½ a tsp. of corn flour (I found that it didn’t need it as the sauce was nice and thick)


Chop the duck into portions, heat a heavy based frying pan really hot, fry the duck portions skin side down to colour and go crispy (the crispiness will get lost in the cooking process, but the colour will remain) Rick said about 6 minutes I cooked it for 10, turned and cooked for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
As I was using wild duck they do not have as much fat as a farmed one so pour off what is there leaving about 2 tbsp. in the pan along with the brown bits. Reduce the heat down low and fry the garlic and ginger when softened,
Poured in the orange juice,
Then the fish sauce,

Added the chillies and lemon grass

next the star anise

And finally a good grinding of black pepper, do you like my grinder (what a waste of space)

Return the duck portions back into the pan and partially cover and simmer for an hour and a half (for the people that like figures 1.5 hrs.).

In the mean time I sliced, chopped and diced my vegetables for my stir-fry. I also had a nice chat with my oldest mate in England and told him over the phone how to make Berliner Bouletten (though he was using Turkey meat eeeh gitti git)! I also warmed a portion of lamb Cassoulet that I had taken out of the freezer; this was to be my lunch before braving the wilds of Rheda. 

The stir-fry vegetables are:

1 carrot sliced into batons (100g)

1 red pepper de-cored and sliced (150g)

4 spring onions sliced into rings (100g)

The white of a leek (50g)

These all went into iced water (straight from the tap in this weather)

I also sliced 7 brown mushrooms (50g)

And reconstituted some shitake mushrooms about (5 g)

The rest of the ingredients were:

1 crushed clove of garlic

1tbsp of peanut oil

2tbsp of dark soy sauce

1tsp of fish sauce

Toasted cashew nuts (35g)

Baby Spinach and Mangold leaves (100g) I had wanted pak-chou but the super-market didn’t have any.

So that was diner eaten and everything prepared and ready to cook on getting back home. It was then just a case of getting well wrapped up put on a silly hat (we Karnevalisten can always get hold of the most outlandish hats and costumes, but a silly hat is a must) and off to Doktor Platz I jolly well marched.

I was at Doktor Platz well before 13:00 so had an hour at least to kill, as there wasn’t a lot doing, I decided to pop along and see what was happening along the river bank (it was frozen in parts). The river Ems that runs through Rheda and once formed part of the cities defences, it being diverted to form the town and palace moat, this part has now been allowed to return to nature and is called the “Erlen Bruchwald” literally the Alder broken wood, this is because, the trees are allowed to grow and fall as is natures want.

There was still ice in places on the water and the ducks (could be relations of tonight’s meal) forming line astern as they plopped off the ice into an ice free channel.
Also the moorhens playing hide and seek in between the willow twigs and branches.
A flock of crows had taken up position in the highest trees and would with a noisy racket all at once take to the air to do an observation flight over the roofs of Rheda.
The first snow drops had appeared as the last of the last snow disappeared; they had also formed a nice carpet around the base of one of the magnificent oaks along with some early buttercups. (I have since been informed on good authority that these are in fact Winter Aconites eranthis hyemalis, bet you didn't know that)

I retraced my steps, passing our newest restaurant L’ Espanol (excellent food, service needs to improve)
and found that Doktor Platz was starting to fill up and a few of my friends had all ready collected around the beer stands. 
 I think many had been on the go since breakfast, it is a tradition to collect at some ones house or local and start the day off with a hearty breakfast and a few beers and washed down with schnapps, but this was not for me this year!  So refusing the small bottles of dubious liquor and the offered beer, with a “mines a water thank you”! (Much shaking of heads, mutterings and pointing at heads as the sign that I was going daft). I got myself the obligatory Currywurst (no Karneval is complete without a one and the jam filled doughnuts (Pfannekuchen). By this time the commentators had taken up their position above the Café Carpe Diem, the streets had filled and windows seats taken.
Because the snow and rain had done us a favour this year, the town was full with revellers and a tent had been set up for those that wished to stay on after the cortège had passed and many did until the early hours.

The first to come and always leads is the Blue light flashing police car, it has been the same policeman for the last 25 years and he loves it being a great sport. Next along came the large array of waggons and foot groups, most of the themes pouring jest at the politicians local and national and the stupidity of some of their decisions!

From the Stadt gardeners

Greedy politicians
The young dancing troops
A touch of the orient
Ice princesses (well the little one may be but mother?)

Even the Wiedenbrück Rugby Club got into the act with a Haka
Spanish dancers

Frog Princes

The planned new Berlin Airport that should have opened in 2011 and May open in 2014

The little ones had a great time, I think that the political Satire may have passed them by, but the sweets certainly didn’t.
One of the Wiedenbrücker Princes is a chicken farmer as you can see from his float, no sweets from them but hard boiled eggs.

The bands come from far and wide, some are local but many travel quite a distance just to take part in the fun (there real fun starts later)

The Wiedenbrückers are a miserable lot, just look at their smiling faces!!!

Then came troupe full of balloons, the land youth and the Vikings out for a bit of Rape and Pillage


The lead Prince this year was Prince Peter and was from the Blau Funken (Blue Sparks) this is a Rheda Karneval  Club and he certainly made it obvious which part of the town he came from with the amount of Bonbon’s he threw out here!

The procession passed by and wound its way to Wiedenbrück the other part of the duel town (but we don’t talk about IT). I made my way to my local (Stamm-lokal), this is a watering hole that was the VfL footballers local and we had many a great time there and the Host became my best friend in these parts.
We danced and jigged (well for most of them you couldn’t call it dancing), we played dice and chatted, people left to visit other locals and others came to take their place, at about 20:00 I decided I had had enough of water and tomato juice with Tabasco and said I was heading for home (again much muttering and touching of head with forefinger). Hansi my old footy mate said I will come with you as I am going to Doktor Platz, we walked and chatted, Hansi is an out of work graphic designer, that turned his hand to brick laying in Spain and then the bottom dropped out of that as well. But he is always very upbeat about it and just gets on with life, he is at the moment doing a loft conversion hoping to be able to rent it out and was wondering if I fancied doing the rewiring for him, I said that I wouldn’t be around for much longer and had quite a bit to do myself, but I would cast my eye over it and tell him what needed doing and if I had some spare time I would give him a hand.
It was then home and finished off the cooking, got my rice cooker out and went to look for my basmati rice; I had round grain, Arborio, Sushi, Risotto in fact every sort of rice with the exception of Basmati rice. Then I remembered, I had dropped the rice jar from a great height and it had smashed on the tiled kitchen floor before Christmas and I had forgotten to replace both the jar and the rice. So this meant, into the car and round to the supermarket, thank goodness for 22:00 opening.

Rice bought and into the cooker, the stir fry on the go and the duck heating through in the reducing orange sauce, this had by now become thick and syrupy, I thinned it down a little and decided it didn’t need any corn flour.

Dry roasted the cashew nuts

Cooked, into serving bowls, with some fresh coriander to add the taste of the orient!

What a smashing meal thanks to Rick for the recipe and thanks the Wildfood Board for pointing me in his direction.