Pardon my french.
I made duck, potatoes and a salad last weekend and I’m just getting around to writing stupid things about it.
Why am I taking so long to write posts you ask?
Fuck tax season, that’s why.
If anyone from KRP is reading, you have a lovely office and I’m loving every minute I spend there.
Because duck (like lobster), has an air of sophistication, and is often reserved for celebrations or fancy date nights at overpriced, dimly-lit french restaurants.
But instead of paying 40 dollars a plate for some dirty Quebecois asshole to subtly insult you throughout dinner, why not make duck at home?
Because, to the majority of Canadians, duck is unfamiliar, and unfamiliar things are scary and intimidating.
I grew up eating duck, so I made this duck my bitch.
ROAST DUCK WITH ROSEMARY AND HONEY GARLIC SAUCE
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes
2 Fistfuls fresh rosemary
1/2 Cup honey
2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
4 Cloves garlic
1 Red onion
1 Knob butter
Salt/Pepper to season
Start off by placing the bird on the cutting board. Grab a pair of eyebrow tweezers or a similar hair-removing implement, and go to town on those gross little white feather stubs still stuck in the skin.
This is kind of disgusting, and since they’re pretty much the same color as the duck, you need to get your face in there and smell the dead bird.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the quills, grab that sack of giblets and toss the neck, heart and gizzard into a saucepan and just let it sit there for a bit while you deal with more pressing matters. Save the liver (big, flat floppy purple bit) for later, shit’s delicious.
With this done, take a very sharp knife and score the skin in a diamond pattern, with lines roughly 1 inch from each other. If you don’t have a sharp knife, take a toothpick (or 5) and viciously jab the skin all over.
I did both.
Chop up some rosemary and rub that into the bird. Salt/pepper liberally. Season the inside as well because why the hell not.
Place on roasting rack on top of an oven-safe container with a lip. This is important.
I didn’t have a roasting rack so I ghetto-rigged a roasting rack out of two cooling racks.
Preheat the oven to 320 and toss that sucker in for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take it out, and carefully pour all of the accumulated grease into a jar (you don’t really need to be careful, grease burns are all the rage this season). Save this for potatoes and other delicious things.
Flip the bird over and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Flip again after 30 minutes and crank the heat to 400, and roast for another 15 minutes or until the skin is a nice caramel color.
There you go, you made a duck, it’s probably going to be delicious.
You probably want something to go with the duck, so make some sauce.
Toss a roughly chopped onion and some rosemary into the pan with the neck and other bird bits. Pour in four cups of water and simmer until you have roughly half a cup of liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic until it turns golden brown, discard the garlic and add the duck stock. Reduce further at low heat until you have roughly a quarter of a cup of liquid.
I’m going to be honest, I made up the recipe as I went along, so in hindsight, you can do a few more optimal things here. If you want to stick to a more traditional, french duck, add roughly a tablespoon of flour to the butter and cook until all the flour is incorporated (yay, you just made a roux!) and add the stock. Salt+pepper and you’ve made a delicious duck gravy.
Personally, I added soy sauce and honey. The sauce still tasted pretty goddamned good, but it mainly just tasted like soy sauce and honey, which kind of defeats the purpose of cooking down and straining the stock.
Whatever floats your boat man.
Now since we’re not filthy degenerates, we’re going to make some more stuff to eat with the duck.
POTATOES WITH DUCK FAT
Salt/Pepper to taste
Alright people. This shit ain’t difficult.
Slice potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Wash potatoes 2-3 times in cold water until water runs clear.
Heat up 2-3 tablespoons of duck fat in a frying pan over medium-low heat, and toss the potatoes in. Flip when one side is golden, toss in some garlic and rosemary. Fry other side until golden.
Rinse and repeat with remaining potatoes.
Toss with salt/pepper.
APPLE AND WALNUT SALAD
Duck is fatty and the potatoes you made with duck fat are pretty greasy too. To fool ourselves to think that we’re eating healthy, we can make a salad!
Granny Smith apples are perfect because they add a nice crunchy texture, while walnuts round it out so the acid from the vinaigrette and apples don’t become too overwhelming.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this salad at Wendy’s or something, but let’s just pretend I came up with it.
1 Head lettuce
1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 Cup shelled walnuts
2 Teaspoons dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 Teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons olive oil (but it’s GOOD fat, so it doesn’t count as calories)
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
For the culinarily-challenged, I’ll write out instructions on how to make a fucking salad.
Mix the onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard and vinegar in a bowl.
Julienne apple (chop into tiny little sticks, for all you filthy peasants).
Now take everything you’ve prepared and dump it all into a salad bowl.
Maybe toss it or something.
How did it taste?
As much as I’d like to jerk myself off, I take pride in my journalistic integrity (or whatever the food blogger version of that may be), so I’ll be honest.
The potatoes could only be fried in small batches, so the older potatoes got soggy. I’m pretty sure I used the wrong kind of potato as well, so they didn’t get the nice crispy edges. Not amazing.
I personally over-cooked my duck so I adjusted the recipe for you people so you won’t make the same mistakes. Besides that, the seasoning and the sauce were both on point (if not a little bit confused).
The salad was kick-ass. But then again, I’ve never eaten anything with 5+ tablespoons of olive oil that I didn’t like.
I bring shame to my famiry.