Duck Baguette – Smoked and Sous Vide
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a group of friends over Whatsapp when we received a message from my sister. She was disturbed to discover that her son, not quite two years old, had started saying the “F” word. Of course, all of us, (not being the highly principled and responsible adults we should have been) thought it was cute and asked her to take a video and send it to us.
While my sister’s first reaction was worry that he was going to get kicked out of day care, I thought it was quite amusing. I remember when my Mom first told me about my other nephew had learned a few bad words from some friends at school, he was probably around three then. I pulled him aside one day and whispered to him to tell me what bad word he knew. He said a few curse words and we had a good laugh over it. After that, I told him never to repeat it again. I haven’t heard anything like that from him since. The thing with kids is that they eventually learn to use their judgement about what they can and can’t say… sometimes even better than adults.
I read this article the other day about how parents react differently to use different strategies to curb the use of swear words. Some will ignore, others will explain to them what they’ve said is inappropriate and others will ban the use of certain gadgets like the ipad. In my sister’s case, I’ve noticed she’s also taken to substituting swearing for other words. Now I hear her say “Far out!” and it’s also rubbed off on me.
Her husband though, I think he is in denial.
The other day he took my nephew over to say hello. As we were chatting, my nephew was running around the house saying, what to me sounded like “F@$k”.
“What did he say?”, I asked his father.
My brother looked at me sheepishly, and shrugged his shoulders. “I think he was saying duck.”
Duck Salad – with candied pecans, cherries and mixed greens
The next day I went to the butcher to get a few duck breasts, no doubt inspired by my nephew’s expanded vocabulary. No recipe this time, just a few notes on how I prepared the duck.
First, I marinated them in a maple/soy sauce mixture. Two tablespoons of maple syrup and three tablespoons on light soy sauce, allow to marinate for around 2 hours.
Then the duck breasts were vacuum sealed and placed in a water bath. I am loving my new sous vide machine which allows me to make the most tender duck I’ve ever tasted. I cook the duck breasts at 57c for an hour and they come out amazingly tender every time.
After, I smoked them using my second favourite kitchen gadget, my stove top smoker. This is a twenty plus year old machine donated to me by my Mom. I smoked the duck breasts using hickory sawdust over a low temperature for 15 minutes.
Finally, the duck breasts were pan fried to get the skin all nice and crispy.
Duck – Sous Vide, Smoked and Pan Fried
The duck can be served in so many ways. Sometimes I have with as a salad. My two favourites are with some mixed greens, candied pecans and cherries over a vin cotto dressing. I also like it with figs, and hazelnuts.
Duck Breast Salad with Figs and Hazelnuts
The duck breasts are also amazing on a sandwich. Imagine the most meltingly tender duck breast, crispy skin and a hint of hickory over a crusty baguette spread with some butter, mustard and mayonnaise. Far out!
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