Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ruddy Duck or Good Things in Small Packages

 The strangest thing happened this morning. I was walking the dogs and my next door neighbor, who I don't know much at all, said, hey want a duck? He had just shot a brace and gave me one. A ruddy duck, so it seems. A diver. He didn't know much about how to clean or cook them. And I just happened to have Hank Shaw's new book Duck Duck Goose on my desk. So I lent it to him. And then wrote to Hank to confirm how it might be cooked. His advice was basically "roll the dice." So I did.

Let me also hasten to add, I have plucked and gutted ducks before. But this girl was so small and soft. Softer than Maxie, who was the softest cat on earth. So it was disconcerting, more so than usual. It took SO long. And then of course I had to share the liver and giblets with the beasts.So I opted to pan roast in duck fat that I had on hand. And then deglaze with zin. I wanted to use port, but this was just sweet enough. Not much else. Salt and Pepper.

She was so sweet and succulent, the flesh as dark as beef. And literally four bites and then a few little nibbles around the legs and the rest. She was so tiny.

And what they say, good things come in small packages, is quite true.

3 comments:

deana sidney said...

I am a total baby about these things. I never could pluck a bird, especially a small bird. It would break my heart. The further away I am from the meat, the better.

It does look delicious. I just made quail and loved it even if it was just a few bites!

Have a great holiday... happy new year and merry merry!

blogic said...

I am watching your DVD series, and it is great. I will probably watch it again. What shines through is your personality.

I think you should key your next series to the AP World History examination. This way families can sit around, have dinner, and actually watch a lecture, and discuss it.

Gary Gechlik, Palo Alto

Ken Albala said...

Thanks SO much Gary. You really made my day. I'd love to teach another course on DVD. I tried pitching a history of alcohol course, but apparently they don't think it will sell. Really?