Sunday, November 6, 2011

FFWD Honey Glazed Duck

Finished dish
I like to think that I'm not a very picky eater, but the FFWD choices for November seemed to hit on all of the foods that I don't like. I'm excited for chef's choice, but the other ones are all problematic. I don't eat red meat, so I'll be skipping the lamb recipe. (I have no real reason for this, my parents just stopped eating it before i was born and I've never been very interested in starting.)  Until a couple of years ago, fennel was on the VERY short list of of vegetables I don't like (the only other one that I can think of is mushrooms). I've been making a (somewhat successful) effort to learn to like fennel, though, so I will try the squash and fennel soup recipe next week and hope for the best.  I was also very nervous about trying the duck recipe.

I don't remember eating duck growing up.  I vaguely remember trying it a couple of times and not liking it, but it was definitely something I only saw in restaurants.  Last year I ordered a tasting menu at a restaurant and the main course was meat.  When I declined that they offered me something with mushrooms, and when I declined that again the waiter offered me duck.  I felt bad saying no three times in a row - especially when the waiter said "would the lady enjoy a duck?" in such a great french accent - so I agreed to the duck.  Maybe it was the wine, but I loved it.  It was served very rare, and much closer to red meat than anything I'd ever tasted, but it was delicious.  

Since then I've ordered duck a couple of other times at restaurants, but it had never occurred to me to cook it at home until this recipe was selected.  I read it over and it sounded straight forward enough, and twenty minutes sounded great for a weeknight, so I decided to give it a shot.  This was also my first time purchasing duck and I was shocked by how expensive it was.  The two pounds the recipe called for also seemed like a lot for four servings, but I decided to trust Dorie.

Once I made the decision to try it and purchased the duck, the cooking part was easy.  I found Dorie's precise instructions very helpful, and quickly realized why she called for two pounds of duck - so much of it is fat!  I saved the duck fat, though, and am pretty excited to cook something in it.  I'm thinking potatoes, but need to look for a recipe.

Duck cooking away
I wanted something healthy to serve with the rich duck, and also needed to use up all of the turnips and turnip greens I've been getting from my CSA, so I made a turnip soup recipe (from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food) to serve with the duck.  I was please with how the soup came out.  It wasn't the best soup I've ever had - probably because it was so healthy - but it did use up the turnips and nicely balanced the rich duck.  I don't think I'll be making the duck recipe too often because of the cost, but we definitely enjoyed it.  It's something I'd pull out again if I had company coming over and a short amount of time to cook.

Soup, homemade chicken broth, and duck


  1. Though this is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, I think it's better for an easy, though elegant, meal for company. Turnips are one of the vegetables I have to work at liking, though for some reason, I don't mind the greens. Your dinner looks delicious!

  2. Your duck looks simply juicy and delicious. I'm with you. I'll be sitting out the next few ffwD myself.

  3. I was definitely surprised at the amount of fat that came out - I wish I thought to save it. I am sure duck fat fried potatoes would be heavenly...

  4. I'm glad you gave it a try! Definitely too expensive for every day, but fun to try nonetheless. Yours looks cooked perfectly!