Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown
Our good friend Walken (Husband’s BFF from the hippie farm days) lives several blocks from us here in Winona. Since the three of us are having Thanksgiving together, Walken suggested the other day that we look through his chest freezer for the Thanksgiving fowl, as he has a wealth of meat and poultry stashed there: some lamb, couple of chickens, and… a DUCK! So as I write this, sitting on a platter in my fridge is 6 ½ pounds of water fowl, begging the question: what does one do with a duck?
First I go to the Joy of Cooking – on page 475 I read “About Wild Birds”, although there is no indication that this bird is wild-caught, being encased as it is in shrink wrap. At any rate I don’t need instructions for dry plucking or singeing it, but I did find these useful tidbits:
- Duckling Rouennaise – “Unless you choke your duck, pluck the down on its breast immediately afterward and cook it within 24 hours, you cannot lay claim to having produced an authentic Rouen duck… If, as is likely, duck-strangling will bring you into local disrepute, you may waive the sturdy peasant preliminaries and serve a modified version, garnished with quotation marks.” (p. 474) I had no idea Irma Rombauer et al. could be so tongue-in-cheek!
- Roast Domestic Duck – “Most duck on the American market is not descended from wild native variety, but from a type bred in China where, of course, this bird is held in high esteem.” (p. 473)
- Besides duck, turkey, and goose; there are recipes for guinea or cornish hen, pigeon, grouse, ptarmigan, prairie chicken, dove or wood pigeon, pheasant, partridge, quail, and snipe or woodcock, just in case you come upon any of these. (Before cooking, you must read “About Small Game Birds”.)
There are recipes for Roast Duck Bigarade and Apricot Honey Glazed Duck (involving brandy and Cointreau, both of which we have!). Or there is, on p. 326, a nice Orange Sauce for Duck or Goose. I have also found a couple of things on line, including Julia Child’s Duck L’Orange, which looks like a lot of bother and will probably lose out to the Roast Duck L’Orange recipe at food.com.
Whatever I decide upon, it will be fun to try something out of the ordinary.
What, if anything, do you eat during the Holidays that veers away from the Traditional?