June 29, 2012

Whole Roasted Duck with a Peach and Cherry Sauce

Photo heavy!

I started with a frozen duck. It took two days to defrost it fully, so plan ahead! Rinse it well and pull out any remaining feathers/roots.
Boil about three cups of water and preheat your oven to 400F on convection roast.

Prick the skin all over, into the fat but without reaching down to the meat. We want to let the fat drain, while keeping the juices in.
After you've done that, put the duck on a rack- in a deep tray (I used a hotel pan) and carefully pour the boiling water all over it.
You will see the skin instantly tighten! All of this work will help achieve a crispy skin.

Tie the duck's lets with some string and generously salt (I used sea salt)...

...and pepper lightly.

Smush everything around to get it all nice and evenly coated. Notice my pan still has water in it? Keep in there, don't dump it out.
Shove the whole thing (breast up) into the oven, with the rack in the middle and set the timer for about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
After 45 minutes, it's time to flip!

On to the sauce! Fresh peach and cherries.
First I used the squishing method of get rid of the seed. It worked like a charm but it was a bloody mess. Ha!

Then I thought...a straw! I'll poke it out like I poke out strawberry greens! After about two cherries, the straw gave up.

Since I don't have a fancy cherry seeding contraption, I just used my fingers and dug them out. Easy peasy.

Rough chop the cherries. We want them to still have some texture after cooking!

Skin the peach and cut them into small wedges.

My fruit bowl, ready for cookin action.

Grab a bunch of shallots. (I love that purple-y lavander colour!)

Cut into thin rings.

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a small pot on medium high and add the shallots. Cook until translucent and soft.

Dump in the fruits!

Cook the mixture as is for about 5 minutes then add 2 cups stock. Game stock is ideal, but who has that? I just used chicken.
Add a little bit of pepper, 3 or 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and some salt to taste.

A splash of red wine would be nice, but then again, so is cognac!
Cook until the sauce has reduced by a quarter and add a tablespoon of 50/50 flour/water mix to thicken it up.
Taste again and adjust. Too strong? Add a touch of water. Repeat. When satisfied, remove from heat, add a pat of butter, stir.

After the first 45 minutes has passed, take the duck out and it should look something like this. Blistered skin and golden.
Carefully, with long tongs, flip the bird upside down so the breast meat is under. Drain any liquid from the cavity into the pan.
Roast for about an hour and flip again so that the breast side is up until the 2 hours and 15 minutes has elapsed.

The finished sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon with tender pieces of fruit. Set aside and warm just before serving.

This is my rosemary plant that I bought from the garden center for $1.69! It's been thriving in the hot weather.

If you don't have fresh rosemary, any fresh herb will do- thyme, oregano, basil...even the dried stuff is good!

I stripped the rosemary sprigs of most of it's leaves, leaving a few at the top. I read that they can be propagated. I stuck them in soil.
Let's see what happens!

The herbs are for my potatoes. Wash a few of them and put into similar sized chunks. Oilve oil, sea salt and lots of garlic

Toss to coat and throw it into the oven once there's only about 45 minutes left for the duck.

I like brussels sprouts. I halved them and added olive oil, sea salt, shallots along with a bit of garlic.
Into the oven, 10 minutes after the potatoes. Watch them! We don't want burnt veggies!

Here's the duck in all it's roasted glory.
A deep golden brown, nearly all the fat as rendered off leaving us/me/you with fantastically crisp skin!
Let set for 15 minutes, undisturbed.

After resting, it was quartered. I prefer dark meat, but I'm not really that picky. Remember to save the duck fat, aka. LIQUID GOLD*.

Served with the peach and cherry sauce, roasted potatoes and brussles sprouts!

As you may or probably may not know, I find cooked fruits (except for crisps and pies and strudels and jam &c.), especially cooked fruits that are served with or as a savory dish absolutely repulsive. Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic. I'm not completely repulsed by it...I just find it uncomplimentry to my pallet. Or so I thought....

I've been working on this issue for a while now and I think that I've been doing a fantastic job at overcoming my...phobia(?) dislike(?)! Ikea meatballs and lingonberry jam is a must have. I now enjoy pineapple on my pizza. Pineapple fried rice. Turkey with cranberry sauce, delicious! And now, duck with a pair of stone fruit made into a sweet and savory sauce. Mm, mm, good! Maybe I'll try chicken with brie and apples next...

The prepping and the babying was pretty time consuming, but the outcome was well worth it. Now, if only the a/c was back on and it wasn't so hot yesterday I would have probably been less of a kitchen Nazi (than usual). :)

*In regards to saving duck fat, I like to pour it in a tall glass and let it separate. I set it in the fridge or freezer over night to let it solidify and scoop it out into a jar to use later. If you're not about to use it with a day or two, chuck it in the freezer until you are! Duck fat will make for some amazing potatoes, amazing anything! Just don't drink it. You'll probably barf it up and it'll be a huge waste!

June 28, 2012

All The Pretty Ones Get Eaten

Need I say more? Tank enjoys (eating) flowers. We have to be careful she doesn't get poisoned! Also, how funny does she look with her fur growing in? It looks like she's wearing an extra coat with a white fur collar on it!

Eggplant Coloured Petals

I love the deep and rich aubergine colour of these flowers. Does anyone know what they're called?

A Pair of Doves

These two have been living in a tree close to my house for years now. It's nice to be able to see them up close for once! They're beautiful! Tank sat beside me watching the two closely, until she just couldn't sit still any longer and just had to get in on the action. Cat's make the funniest bird noises. I'm sure all she was thinking about was...dinner!

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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