Not there yet, but working on it

June 24, 2011

Or, duck confit, round two.

And this time, I stayed sober enough to sample it.

Trying to upgrade my plating skills, I am!

I’d found two bags of six each Hudson Valley duck leg quarters recently at the Culinary District. They hadn’t moved well, so they stuck them on half-price. So I bought both, meaning I had a significant freezer-full of duck. And I decided that, being that I had my food guinea pig here this weekend for our close-together birthdays (mine is tomorrow, his is July 9), I’d confit duck.

So I did. And in an effort to step up my plating skills, I parceled it out on a bed of polenta, made with duck jus left over from the last time I did duck confit, and ringed the plate with tomatos, basil and mozzarella.

It was a lovely dinner, and a pretty good one. A few notes:

The polenta was salty. The only salt extant was that in the duck jus, and in the parmigiano. But it was too much salt. Other than that, the polenta was good.

I pulled two of the confited quarters out, stashed the other four in plastic, and topped them off with the duck fat. Those two went on a rack in the same roasting pan and back into the oven to crisp up the skin. When they came out, I glazed them with a little honey.

Verdict: Good, but not up to what I had at Murphy’s. The sweet glaze didn’t penetrate like I remember the sweet taste doing at Murphy’s. I think next time, I’ll try some sugar in with the salt cure. And it was a little overly salty, I thought. But it was rich, and fork-tender. The skin should have gotten a little crispier; I’ll need to tinker with that.

First time I’ve cooked all week. It’s been a bitch of a week, trying to catch up from being gone last week, and I’ve had a half-hearted summer cold all week, scratchy throat and coughing and all that. Plus I’ve had a couple of night events, so NS has had lots of carryout and I even took him out one night, to make up for leaving him home by himself all last week. He picked Outback (sigh). I had a respectable merlot, and a half-dozen absolutely horrible coconut shrimp, of which I ate two, and when the manager asked me if they were OK, I replied that they were not. So he took them off my bill. Next time, I’ll just drink the damn wine.

Tomorrow’s dinner will depend in large part on what the Farmers’ Market has to offer. We’re going to the Joan Jett concert for our birthdays, so we may actually go out to eat before that; he’s interested in trying the Brauhaus (although I think he just wants to see the tuba-accordion duo).  It is already determined that I am drinking, while he is driving. Sunday will be burgers, as I’m picking up my beef order at the FM tomorrow morning. Beyond that, we shall see.

I’m also jonesing for cheddar cheese biscuits. I won’t do them tomorrow morning, but that may be on the agenda for Sunday morning. And I have bacon jam, oh, yes, I do.

So you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stop at your local farmers’ market and get you some good produce this weekend, and have a lovely time cooking it. I’ll check back in with y’all later.

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3 Responses to “Not there yet, but working on it”

  1. Sharon Says:

    I must say the plating looks highly professional.
    Happy Birthday!

  2. Terri Says:

    OMG I love bacon jam. It’s so addicting!

  3. Pamela Coulter Says:

    Happy late Birthday from Trish & I


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