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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cooking Adventures: Duck

About a month ago, needing some vanity books for our dining room, I decided to order a few cookbooks. And not just any cookbooks, but "aspirational" ones. And I spent more money on five of them than I did on my Ikea bed. Yes, I have misplaced priorities. Also between the five of them, there are something like 18 Michelin stars. And yes, I am a huge snob.

So here are some pictures from my first adventures with the Thomas Keller Ad Hoc at Home cookbook: pan roasted duck breasts on braised radishes, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts.

First, I had to butcher the duck first, since the impetus for using this recipe was my purchase of a five-pound duck from the U Street Farmers' Market. I used the instructions in the cookbook for butchering a chicken. Here are three lessons I learned:

1) Ducks are not the same as chickens. They have more fat. Which means that they are anatomically different. Poultry is not the same as other poultry.
2) Butchers' knives are probably fairly useful. Otherwise you'll just end up using a motley collection of serrated bread knives and paring knives to kind of guess at it.
3) Never underestimate the time it will take to butcher something. It took me an hour. Gross.

The marinade from the cookbook called for salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaves, and orange peel (though I replaced the orange peel with orange juice).

Braising the radishes in butter.

Pan-roasted, and then finished in the oven.

The greens. Substituted chayote for the kohlrabi since I couldn't find it. Steamed the chayote and brussels sprouts, and added shallots.

The final product.


Kate said...

I used my chef's knife to butcher mine. It worked pretty well.

Most important question: HOW DID IT TASTE?!

Angela said...

My question as well.

It looks pretty tasty, though. I really need to get that cookbook.