By a fowlness ye shall know them...

>> Thursday, November 26, 2009



Oh, that was good. Roast duck, mashed potatoes and corn (the latter two store-bought, I'm afraid to confess), washed down with a Castle Rock Pinot Noir (no big deal there, either)--but all very, very satisfactory. I'm having a hard time remembering my name right now, matter of fact.

Ah, succulent roast duck. You know, that's one of the birds they used to do for a traditional Thanksgiving before somebody insisted on making the turkey the thing. And don't get me wrong--I really, really like turkey. On the other hand, the person who decided to make turkey the Thanksgiving bird because Ben Franklin wanted to make it the national bird sort of got a signal crossed: Franklin wanted it to be the national bird because it was hard to eat. Like I say, I really, really like turkey a lot, but it's a hard bird to do without drying out, and that's your farm-raised turkey who's been genetically designed to be roastable. (Animal-rights folks who take pity on the farm turkey also have a signal crossed somewhere: the farm turkey is an artificial freak bred to be fat and dumb as a rock, and bears as much resemblance to the turkey designed by evolution as a paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa has to da Vinci. You can't even set them free, because heaven help us if some wild turkey decides to rape one in the wild and it lives long enough to nest.) But duck, duck, ooo, duck. It's, like, all dark meat, with this ribbon of fat under the skin that bastes the thing internally while you're roasting it.

People think it's a big deal to roast duck because hardly anyone ever does it anymore. It's really not, and I'm not being modest. Yes, I've ruined ducks before, left 'em in too long and you can dry them out if you don't pay enough attention in the last little bit. But it's a small risk. I used to joke that the only difficult thing about doing a duck is peeling the sailor suit off; it's funny because it's nearly true. Joy Of Cooking complicates things unnecessarily, but it's pretty much as simple as sticking it in the oven at 350° until the internal temp is around 165°--about two, two-and-a-half hours. And it just melts in the mouth. Oh. Man. I stuff it with apples. Rub the outside with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Real basic.

Sorry. I wax rhapsodic over the flesh of the fowl. Forgive me. I hope your Thanksgiving feast, if you were here in the States and had one, was delicious and awesome.

3 comments:

Dr. Phil (Physics) Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 10:08:00 PM EST  

Though I enjoyed my Thanksgiving turkey -- and will continue to do so -- I dearly love duck. We've done ducks for Christmas or Thanksgiving a number of times. And any restaurant or special tasting dinner which features duck is high on my list.

There are a couple of restaurants where I swear I am going to try something else, but then when I get there and I see the duck... I cave. Again. Oh, damn. (grin)

Dr. Phil

Tania Friday, November 27, 2009 at 11:35:00 PM EST  

Duck was on my menu, before I was pressured into spending the holiday with friends.

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