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Duck or Goose Blood Soup Recipe - Polish Czarnina or Czernina

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Blood Soup
stuart_spivack/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Duck or goose blood soup or czarnina (char-NEE-nah), also known as czernina and czarna polewka, is a Polish favorite and originated as a way to use up every part of a slaughtered duck or goose. Czarnina gets its name from the Polish word for "black" -- czarny -- referring to the soup's dark color. It is typically made with duck or goose blood, dried fruits and vinegar which prevents the blood from clotting, giving it a sweet-sour flavor, much loved by Eastern Europeans.

In Poland, unsuccessful suitors would receive czarnina from the maiden's parents to let them know their advances were not welcome.

If you don't have access to a freshly slaughtered duck or goose and its blood, you may be able to purchase the blood at a Polish deli and duck parts from a butcher (or blanched pork neckbones). If blood isn't available or distasteful, try slepo (blind) czarnina, which is blood free.

My grandmother always creamed her czarnina. Here's a larger picture of czarnina served with kluski. More about cooking with blood.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 10 servings Czarnina

Ingredients:

  • Blood from a freshly killed duck or goose (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Duck or goose parts (or 3 pounds blanched pork neck bones)
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram (cloves, allspice are optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups dried fruit (prunes, raisins, pears, apples)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation:

  1. Mix fresh blood with vinegar so it won't clot, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Or you can buy the blood already mixed with vinegar at some European specialty stores.
     
  2. Place dressed duck pieces in a large pot. Cover with at least 10 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Add a stock sachet, if desired, marjoram and other spices, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.
     
  3. Add the dried fruit and cook another hour. Remove meat from bones and return to the pot. Let the soup cool and refrigerate to make skimming off the fat easier, and prevent curdling once the blood and half-and-half are added.
     
  4. When ready to serve, in a large bowl, cream the soup by fork blending flour into half-and-half. Add 3 ladles of cold soup and blood-vinegar mixture and whisk until smooth. Transfer to pot with remaining soup and heat gently until soup is thickened and the raw flour taste is cooked out, about 20-30 minutes. Adjust seasonings, vinegar and sweetness, if necesary. Serve with soup kluski or potato dumplings.
Related Video
How to Butcher a Duck

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