I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I started cooking with duck this week. In fact, had one of the biggest laughs in a while in the kitchen when D was walking in and I yelled "DUCK!" and tossed one at him. He deftly caught it, insightfully (or luckily?) realizing that I was announcing the projectile rather than warning him to avoid it. Good times.

The 'real' reason for duck will show up here on Friday when I post the January Daring Kitchen post. This required duck legs, but they just don't seem to be sold alone like chicken legs. So, two whole ducks made their way into my shopping cart. After quartering off the legs, the breast meat was removed for another meal, while the rest of the carcasses were roasted and then boiled for stock. These things are pretty pricey, so I wanted to make the most of it.

Duck is, unlike other poultry I've dealt with (read: chicken and turkey, for the most part) cooked rare. I decided to go simple with the now-boneless duck breast. The skin was scored, cooked over low heat to render out the abundant fat, which I poured off before upping the heat to sear the meat. The interior was left pink. My kids looked at the thin slices that came to their plates, and A ventured: "isn't it supposed to be cooked?" before being reassured and digging in. The skin was crispy, and a thin glaze of reduced pan drippings, balsamic vinegar, honey and white wine was drizzled over the top. Herbed, roasted small potatoes and buttered peas finished off supper.

Wow. Everyone tried it, and we all agreed it was delicious. It's almost got a steak-like texture when prepared like that. The kids loved it, chewing slowly to enjoy the flavour. Looking online I've found French cuisine, Asian cuisine, lots of options for using it that are begging to be tried.

And yes, I've started looking into adding a few ducks to our meat birds next summer.

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