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.