Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ruddy Duck or Good Things in Small Packages

 The strangest thing happened this morning. I was walking the dogs and my next door neighbor, who I don't know much at all, said, hey want a duck? He had just shot a brace and gave me one. A ruddy duck, so it seems. A diver. He didn't know much about how to clean or cook them. And I just happened to have Hank Shaw's new book Duck Duck Goose on my desk. So I lent it to him. And then wrote to Hank to confirm how it might be cooked. His advice was basically "roll the dice." So I did.

Let me also hasten to add, I have plucked and gutted ducks before. But this girl was so small and soft. Softer than Maxie, who was the softest cat on earth. So it was disconcerting, more so than usual. It took SO long. And then of course I had to share the liver and giblets with the beasts.So I opted to pan roast in duck fat that I had on hand. And then deglaze with zin. I wanted to use port, but this was just sweet enough. Not much else. Salt and Pepper.

She was so sweet and succulent, the flesh as dark as beef. And literally four bites and then a few little nibbles around the legs and the rest. She was so tiny.

And what they say, good things come in small packages, is quite true.