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|