Monday, December 5, 2011

Wild Duck Chase #2

Complexity Level:  Intermediate
Over the weekend, a few friends and I had our second Wild Duck Party for the season (thanks for the great hunt Ross!). It was a blast for us to cook and soon the night turned into a conversation rich with laugher, wine, and hot buttered rum!  It was great.  This time, I was able to go to a friends house (Erica's House) and helped her cook her first ever wild duck...  and it was a Huge Success!

We wanted to track our progress to start posting on Bargain Bites for Beginners, but Erica is much better than a beginner, and so we had fun learning new tricks, and figuring out things we could buy to get her kitchen prepped for all the successful meals she will cook in the future.

I think I might start BB4B (bargain bites for beginners) with tips on how to affordably stock your pantry, and your kitchen, so anything is possible.  First mission:  Erica's Kitchen:  Sharp knives and (it's true) a whisk!  She needs a whisk!!   One thing is for sure, our wild duck chase kitchen soon became an art studio, and we created some gorgeous plates of deliciousness... The clean up however.... was left for the morning (sorry! too much wine!)

Earlier I had posted about a wild duck challenge, and what took some serious research and a string of luck, became a fabulous meal with wine, wile rice, and friends.

This time around, Erica took on a mission to find, create, and successfully host another round of the challenging wild duck.  And this time, we had (3) whole ducks to roast:  1 Mallard and 2 Teal!  How marvelous!

The recipe was fit for the season:  A bread, apple, cranberry stuffing rich with herbs and crunch onions.  The birds were stuffed with herbs and stuffing to give them an aromatic taste, and were set in a roasting pan with onions and delicately wrapped in bacon.  Yes.  Bacon.  The drippings were transformed into a fabulous, duck and bacon sherry reduction with shallots and lots of love from Erica's roommate -- who did an excellent job with prepping all the garlic and onions (not to mention all the tears!).

For the ducks, the Mallard roasted for 35 minutes (20 for to teal) at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  We then broiled them for 3-5 minutes to crisp the skin and bacon, and then let them rest for 15 minutes before carving off the breast meat.  These ducks were perfectly crisp on the outside and a beutiful rich purple red rare on the inside.

If you are a first time Bargain Bites visitor, in a previous duck post (posted here) I talked about how to cook and preserve the wild duck flavor without making it taste gamey or like liver.  To do this, you do want to cook a medium rare to rare bird.  This is because the duck's will have more of a steak like texture and flavor.  If you cook them too much, like ostrich (which is very healthy and rich in iron) they will get a metallic taste.  This would not be delicious.

There were brie and goat cheese stuffed figs and wine to start, a collaborative display of sides, and to finish the day of labor, we shared hot buttered rums (recipe here):

These were what made the night complete.  Good food, good friends, holarious stories... and did I mention  bottles of wine later (opps... ) we made these amazing drinks.  Butter, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, rum, and a dollop of ice cream, some background Christmas music and a fresh tree decoated and lit, we slowly finished the evening sippin on our mugs of cheer.

At least we recycle!!
In all, another successful, and quite educational, kitchen adventure with friends.

Thanks for stopping by!


Aimee Gonzalez

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