I've been enjoying my holiday from electronics so much that I still haven't fully returned. I keep my phone ringer off, I ignore email for ages–it's awfully nice. But I have been making some good food, and working on a bunch of projects. The garden is doing well, and many of the late plantings are thriving; we should have some good stuff come fall (which is tomorrow, after all).
But I figured I should put a post up, if only so you'll all stop calling hospitals. My next article is about the man who produces the best ducks in America (which you can read all about when it comes out) and he gave me a sample to try. So I made it for dinner tonight. It was a tad hurried, and we've all been sick, but essentially I seared a breast and power-stewed a leg so I could see how it handled two types of cooking. If I'd had the strength, I would have made confit yesterday, but yesterday was a disaster so I didn't.
So I crisped up the leg, skin-side down, then flipped it, then removed it to a small pan and added leek, cubed buttercup squash, parsley, a glug of red wine, and enough water to come up just shy of the crackling russet carapace of skin. I let it simmer, covered, while I scored and seared the breast and removed it, then threw leek strips in the copious oil to crisp, then pulled them out and added shallot and shredded kale to wilt, finishing them with Brother's raspberry vinegar. I had peeled, cubed and steamed more buttercup squash as well; we had two from the garden with some bug damage, so I cut out the nasty bits and used the rest, which added up to about one squash in volume. This I puréed with some of the cooking water and a bit more of the vinegar.
It looks like a hot mess, but it tasted quite splendid. This duck just has more of all the things one looks for in a duck. I can't wait to make confit and prosciutto and stock out of the rest of it.