Saturday, January 15, 2011

Duck Mission Fail

It is with a tinge of envy that I am reading noticies of foodies, divine chefs & bloggers brag about their success with the duck prosciutto that is the first 'assignement' for Mrs Wheelbarrow's Year of Meat, otherwise known as CharcutePalooza.

 Me, I started off with a big mouth bang and then for reasons too simple to elucidate on, I sort of petered out as the days passed on. Today is the deadline. I am late. As always.

Don't get me wrong. I am determined to get it done, I have been dreaming about it non stop - not so much to show off, but to finally eat that damned duck breast made heavenly by a bit of salt, some herbs and hanging around the inside of my garage door for 7 days. I've even bought olives and saved money for  least 2 luscious loaves ($10 each) of bread from the Denver Bread Company in anticipation of savouring every little morsel.

So, I know you really want to know what happened to the duck I did get from the generous Mr. P, who went hunting and brought back wild duck just for me, you might wonder? Well. It's like this. Not only were the birds whole, which means that I would have had to debone them and carve out their breasts BUT there was no fat on either bird. Like, you know - size 0. I hadn't thought about that when I eagerly accepted the donated birds. Wild duck are not as fatty as ducks bred for fois gras production. Um, yeah.
To add to the suddenly daunting nature of something that seemed fairly simple, at the moment, my rat race life has become more hectic and scattered with a new second job and wasting time on twitter and it took me forever to get to the store for more kosher salt. Of course I forgot the cheesecloth. That I got the next day.  I did have the Queen's ancient German scale (grams, kilo's etc) but by that time it was 'the next' Thursday. I had no thermometer.
It just came to the point where I had to eat the little fuckers them before they started to rot in the refrigerator.  I put them in the oven with some sort of sauce, I think oranges and some Cointreau's on one and spices on the other.

To my great disappointment they were nothing like I had anticipated - and truthfully, they were down right horrible! I mean to say, the mallard was ok - dark, musky, a bit tough but similar to duck I have eaten at restaurants or at other people's homes. But the girl duck. Pew Ewww. She tasted like a fish. I mean a fishy fish and a greasy, boney one on top of that. That has cured me of pretending I know what to do with wild duck for a while.

You are snickering, I can tell.

I admit, I probably did not put a lot of love into that day of cooking - and that is why the ducks might have tasted so ...mediocre...and that is the most kind thing I can say about my adventure...
But undaunted, I will go on with this simple little lesson learned. Do not go into this kind of thing unprepared. Buy the necessary ingredients ahead of time even if you think you know it all and are an accomplished home cook of sorts. I will post when I have done what I had set out to do, chime in with the big girls - till then...I suggest everyone look at the pics on Flickr to see the more successful of my colleagues.

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