It started with my purchase of a couple of beautiful, fulsome Muscovy duck breasts! each weighing in a solid pound apiece. I marinated them on Thursday but realized that one of them was more than enough for two of us, but moreover, they should have their rub left on them at least for several hours or overnight.
Consequently, no duck on Thursday night, and not at $15 apiece would I risk having a half-marinated duck breast when I could get the full result from a longer time sitting in the rub. So it was pizza Thursday.
Come Friday I texted our friends A and B:
FYI if yr able to come by will cook both. If not no worries will just cook one.
Then, a few minutes later, a change of heart.
I told B and he wants your duck. Can we come over?
Or is it too late?
Leave it to the husband in this case to turn things around. Apparently going to the museum and looking at ancient sarcophagi wasn’t as much a hit as looking at a dead duck.
This came to me about 4pm just as I sat down to merienda at Local 123 Cafe. So I allowed myself ten minutes to relax and sip, then crossed over to the Hispanic market to grab some potatoes so I could ‘extend’ the parnsip dish I planned. There were no braising greens in their produce department so the side of braised garlic greens simply passed from consideration as did the parsnip purée notion. It all became roasted root veggies.
Meanwhile the house needed to be somewhat tidy, so I swept the living room, wiped down the bathroom counter, moved a few dead bodies into the bedroom, and removed the sewing machine from the kitchen table, hid the large bag of paper towels behind the utility closet door, and started on the cherry red wine vinegar sauce for the duck.
I pulled the one duck breast I’d consigned to the freezer, put it in some warm water to defrost, and started peeling the organic peaches for the peach galette (don’t ordinarily go organic but these were so fresh and sweet…)
So the ducks were coming to room temperature, the sauce was prepared, the root veggies were waiting to be put in the oven, and the galette was ready for baking.
But I needed some sort of appetizers (well, you don’t but they’re fun to have so sue me). I pulled out some garlic jack cheese and a piece of aged Gouda, and cut up the filmjolkslimpa into bite-size pieces.
Filmjolkslimpa, you ask. Whaaaa? Ah. World’s easiest bread recipe. Buttermilk molasses, flour, seeds and nuts, mix, bake. Delicious.
I also quickly prepared some medjool dates with cranberry goat cheese and toasted walnut stuffing as an appetizer, and I had some lightly salted macadamia nuts, as well. There were the appetizers.
Wifey came home and remarked how tidy the house was; too bad we didn’t have guests. Heh heh. She didn’t know that A&B would be arriving any minute. How the kitchen table with four place settings, the fact that I was cooking up enough meat to stuff just the two of us beyond measure, and all didn’t clue her in…well, hmm.
I’d never really cooked a duck breast as large as the ones I currently had, given that they were from drakes rather than hens, and they did take a bit longer to cook, but worth it, naturally.
And finally finished no resting. You can see where I cut into them to check their doneness at one point (they required a few more minutes to complete)
Overall, a very successful meal. All four of us managed to polish off what had originally been two pounds of succulent duck breast, and seeing folks dip in for seconds without prompting was pleasing,
The cherry sauce was nice, but in the future, I will cook it to reduce down a bit more. Too watery by half for me. Recipe can be found at the New York Times under City Kitchen by David Tanis.