The flavor of soups, sauces, and especially risottos depends heavily on the quality of the stock used. Bouillon cubes are terrible because they are usually more than 99% salt. Store-bought stocks usually also have a very high salt content, which renders them useless for sauces and risotto. And it is so easy to make your own stock, it only takes a bit of patience.
From the comments of my readers and recipes on many other blogs, I’m starting to get the impression that many cooks out there believe there are only about four types of stock: vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef stock, and fish stock. However, stock can be made from virtually anything and each ingredient gives off a characteristic flavor. So you can also prepare lamb stock, shrimp stock, pork stock, rabbit stock, hare stock, pheasant stock, etc. If you make a lamb dish with a sauce or a lamb stew, you will get more lamb flavor if you use lamb stock rather than beef stock.
So even though making duck stock is not different from making chicken stock (except that you use duck rather than chicken), I’m posting about it anyway to emphasize that duck stock exists, easy to make at home, and preferable to chicken stock in most cases for duck dishes.
Unlike chickens, ducks are not often sold as whole birds. Since duck breasts are much more popular than duck legs, duck legs are available cheaply (at least in the Netherlands). This is why I used duck legs for the stock, rather than the carcass of a whole duck. If you do use a whole duck, never throw away the carcass but always use it to make stock.
2 duck legs, about 500 grams (1.1. lbs), or a duck carcass with some meat attached
1 small onion
a similar amount of carrot
a similar amount of celery stalk
some fresh thyme
some black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a stock pot or pressure cooker, and deglaze the roasting pan with water. Use a wooden spatula to scrape all browned bits of the bottom of the roasting pan.
Then use a paper towel or cheese cloth to filter the stock and remove most of the fat. (To remove more of the fat, allow the stock to cool such that the fat will form a layer on top that you can remove easily).
Never add salt to stock before you have reduced it to the desired thickness.