Sunday, September 24, 2006

Smoked Duck

Back from the city, where work alas precluded any fancy eating, and planning on guests who alas then couldn't make it, I defrosted a beautiful duck (fleisher's) and fired up the smoker. The apple wood from Vermont has been sitting outside, and it's not really dry. This makes it really smoky, but not enough to sustain a fire by itself, so I put it on top of the hardwood (beech, ash, and maple) we use for firewood up there and let it go, with a pan underneath the bird to catch the fat.

I also threw halved acorn squash in the oven to roast. When the duck came inside, I poured off all the liquid that had accumulated in the cavity, tented the bird with foil, and put it in the still-hot oven to keep warm. All the liquid combined with cranberry juice, the last of the BBQ sauce, demi-glace, chicken broth from before, and honey, and reduced. Skimmed and strained, it went on a leg on a dollop of puréed squash. Beyond having almost an entire smoked bird to play with this week, and a carcass to make broth from, I caught a pint of smoked fat which will be pure alchemy in the weeks to come.

We drank a 2002 Monthélie by Nicholas Potel which had a gorgeous nose but was still a little tight and sour; another couple of years would be a good idea.

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