Just Ducky

What is my DEAL lately with the duck? I can’t get enough of it. I think I got bored with my traditional meats (chicken, beef, pork), and it’s not like that’s motivation enough to see me trotting back to my house from the market carrying a scaly dead halibut or anything. I’ve got a firm line there. So duck it is, and we’re really enjoying it.

We source our duck from Hudson Valley, on account of they’re a)free-range for real and b) effing delicious. Our recent shipment included another tub of duck fat, 12 duck legs for confit (which I HAVE to start today…note to self), and (much like that hooker in Total Recall) three plump breasts. Maaaaybe there was also a roll of black truffle butter in that package. I’m so weak in the face of truffle butter.

And cherries, oh the cherries. I love when cherries are in season, and the grocery stores pack the shelves with giant bags of juicy red orbs for $2.99/lb. I once ate a full pound of them at once. Actually, this isn’t the first time this happened. My parents took me on a cruise to Norway (I think) when I was 4 years old, and I liked the cherries so much that the chef sent out a big bowl of them. I ate them all and then barfed ruby-red all over the ship. Sweet.

Finally, asparagus is still lingering at the tail end of its yearly heyday. I will tell you that up until this year, I did not eat asparagus. I may have already told you this. It’s because when I was small my parents and grandparents told me it makes your “pee stink.” Grrrooooosssssss. So I was a-feared of it. But cooked correctly it’s a thing of beauty. Cooked incorrectly it’s a thing of absolute mealy horror.

So last night we rolled out a duck breast rubbed with cayenne pepper and brown sugar, then sauteed until the fatty skin was crisped up. It lay over a bed of red wine risotto that I personally stirred myself. Usually Chris stirs the risotto because I don’t have the attention span to stir for that long. Some asparagus in melted truffle butter graced the back of the plate, and the fond from the duck, after the fat was poured off, became a rich reduction of red wine and good balsamic that simmered with fresh cherries.

Help us all, how can one dish have that many flavors of awesome. All complementary, all powerful, and all in season. Yowza.

7 thoughts on “Just Ducky”

  1. I think I'm immune to the stinky pee thing. Never had it, and I eat asparagus like a mofo when it's around.

    That dish looks beautiful. I love the balsamic cherry sauce. However, since I loathe greasy duck, I would prefer it with chicken…BREAST!! Take that!

    Got the dress, by the way. Now I need to lose more weight so I look decent in it. I relied too much on the Spanx.

  2. I've never eaten enough to get a significant effect on my pee, I don't think. We had it last time I visited my sister and I ate as much of it as I could so I could see what all the fuss was about.

    After a while, my sister asked me "Well what's the deal, does your pee smell bad?" and I said "You'll have to tell me when you get into bed tonight."

    Because that's how we roll in my family.

  3. Kristie, you were barely 2 on that cruise. You didn't turn 4 until you lived in Colorado, remember? And just so everyone gets the pretty mental picture, the giant bowl of cherries that the Captain had delivered to baby Kristie were Marachino, and made for lovely pink piles of nasty all over the ship. You were such a cutie!

  4. I personally have never even peed, making the effect null and void. But I definitely did barf pink. My bad for not remembering my specific age…it's probably a holdover from all the chemicals my parents let me eat via maraschino cherry. Shame.

  5. I personally really enjoy eating a whole lot of beets and then scaring the crap out of Mike by not flushing the toilet properly. You know, sometimes you just have to find small pleasures where they lie….

  6. I think I promised to tell you the asparagus tale previously, then forgot. I learned this from a Biochem prof at Penn State. Apparently not everyone has whatever chemistry it requires in their system to make their pee smell from asparagus. In addition, not everyone has the ability to detect the smell. So to know for sure if it affects you, you need to involve a very close friend…

    –Aunt Tracy

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