Sunday, March 29, 2009

Duck... Duck... Yuck...!

One of Slick's favorite things to get when we go out to dinner is DUCK. Almost regardless of where we go, if there is duck on the menu, he orders it. If it is a special for the night- look out- he is definitely getting it. I know this about him. I was served duck at his parents house on one of our early dates. I thought it was super cool. Made a big mess but was really cool with the sour cherry sauce and wild rice... I mean, my mother in law is a masterful cook and if she can serve Uncle Ben's Wild Rice then dang it I can to!

Over the vacation last week Slick had duck at dinner one night and the Peep was super curious. This curiosity was partly fueled, I think, by Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who have recently flown in and are vacationing at my parents pool, but who am I to speculate on the thoughts of a 5 year old...

So over dinner I mentioned that we had a duck in the freezer at home and Slick- who is really the one in charge of our larder- was genuinely surprised. I decided then that when we returned home I would thaw and prepare the duck with cherry sauce that Slick so likes.

Thursday was the big day.

I checked in with Slick early in the day to see when I could expect him home for dinner and put the duck into the K2 sink with cool water to thaw.

Then I went looking for my duck and cherry sauce recipe. It is really Slick’s mom’s recipe. According to the recipe card, she shared this information with me in June 1999. For those of you keeping score at home, that was Slick’s first birthday after we were married. I went all out, duck, champagne, strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. And Slick was sick and ate and went directly to bed. That was the last time I remember making duck.

So armed with my 10 year old recipe, I gathered the ingredients- all of which were in stock in the house. I must have purchased the cherries when I got the duck knowing they went together. Man am I a planner or what?

So duck thawed, rinsed, dried, cleaned, quacking at the Peep who was not as amused I thought she would be, the duck went into the oven. Look at those orange slices. Look into the cavity of the bird to see it is stuffed with onion and oranges. Notice the scoring of the fat laden skin. I was on a roll!

Then to the cherry sauce. Pretty easy. Look at the full plump cherries! I am a natural! The Peep tried the sauce. Again fairly unimpressed but I assure her that it will be tasty on the duck at dinner. She is such a trooper that she agrees and starts playing computer games at the kitchen counter to keep me company while the duck roasts.

The recipe says cook for 30 minutes then 20 minutes per pound and the last 20 minutes apply a little of the glaze to the duck. I follow al of these directions. Then I check my favorite yellow cookbook and it says cool 45 minutes then 30 minutes… so apparently I need to cook the bird somewhere between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes… After 2 hours in the oven, it still is not reaching the needed 180 degrees! We decide to take it out anyway. Man it is lovely. Brown and sparkly in the way that only food cooked in animal fat can be. Gross, I know, but seriously.

I plate the quarters and Slick and I head into the dining room to eat… the Peep had given up a while before and eaten cheerios…

We sit down. We say a blessing. It went something like “Dear Lord, please don’t let the duck kill us.” But I can’t remember it word for word.

Then Slick begins a lovely dinner of duck, wild rice spiked with cherry sauce, sautéed zucchini with garlic and steamed broccoli. I have one bite of the duck and remember why it must have been that I never made it again.

I can't stand duck. One bite. I had one bite.

The wild rice was right on. Thanks Uncle Ben.


al said...

Go Chef Paper Girl! That is impressive.

lulu said...

Nice cooking! duck, not so much...maybe you should write yourself a note on the recipe...I DON'T LIKE THIS - FIX MYSELF AND THE PEEP SOMETHING ELSE....or just let Slick keep getting it out..

Hilldog said...

I remember when you made it the 1st time it thought it went something like it stunk up the kitchen and you never made it again... I do agree you should put something on the recipe card like Lulu said- the pictures were pretty though!