As the Story begins, Elmer Fudd is seen sitting despondent over a pile of Black feathers…….the door breaks down, in comes Brenda Lee Johnson and the major crimes division….
What they find seems so cut and dry, Elmer, a pile of feathers, a scatter of bones, and a shot gun in the corner. All the evidence points at fowl play, and Elmer seems to be the only player…….But just as Detective Provenza is about to make the arrest, he finds the one missing piece to the puzzle, that last bit of evidence, one that clears poor Elmer of any wrong doing. On the counter top, next to an empty bottle of mad dog, sat a lone Duck Stamp…….and the sad realization at that very moment was that there was absolutely nothing he or anyone could do…….sigh…….for unfortunately it was “duck season”.
I always loved Bugs Bunny, and that crazy Daffy Duck….but Elmer Fudd, there were some serious issues going on there, and I was always waiting for him to snap. Bugs and Daffy were unmerciful. I would watch those cartoons endlessly as a child, and on through high school, and I knew most of them by heart. I even learned to love classical music because of Bugs Bunny. (although my favorite character will always be Foghorn Leghorn….ah say, luckily I keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion, words I have lived by)
My first experience with duck came so very many years ago, as was our routine before a lesson Mama Jeanette and I would walk through the market while she decided what we would cook that evening. One day as we walked through market to where most of the meat vendors were, we were greeted by an abundance of ducks hanging from every stall. Mama Jeanette turned to me and said ” Sonny boy it must be duck season” and to this day I don’t know why, but I quickly answered in my daffy duck voice that it was “wabbit season.” I didn’t get to hear Mama Jeanette laugh very often, but on this occasion she laughed till she cried, as it turned out she loved that wascally wabbitt too. I wish I could have seen her that happy all the time.
Needless to say we purchased two ducks that day, along with the rest of our bounty for the nights meal, and that my friends is how I learned to cook duck, the rest of the story is for another day.
Before I get to the recipe, I would like to mention that the reason I have these wonderful ducks to post about. As I was mindlessly looking at my twitter account, I noticed that Maple Leaf Farms was following me…..I remembered them from my restaurant days….. Maple Leaf Farms had the best duck on the market, and I always looked for them, no matter what restaurant I worked at. Imagine my surprise when I saw they were following me on twitter ( I still really have no idea what twitter is, I’m just glad I’m finally pronouncing it correctly it was embarrassing….sigh). I quickly tweeted (I can’t say that with a straight face) Maple Leaf Farms and remarked how I loved their products!! I almost as quickly received a very nice response from Beth, asking what part of the country I was located in and she would find me a distributor. I answered back that as much as I would love to serve duck at school, I didn’t think it would fit into my budgets. That’s when she so kindly offered to send me something from there online store. How nice was that, not even asking for anything from me in return. Of course you know I can’t just take them and not blog about them, while I don’t receive any compensation for blogging about the product, I feel its just the right thing to do when someone is nice enough to send you something. But I digress…sigh….lets get back to those wonderful ducks and that the fine people from Maple Leaf Farms so nicely sent me! I received two types of ducks from Maple Leaf, one was a antibiotic free duck and that was my choice for this recipe, and the other was a whole duck with Orange sauce. Both came via Fed Ex and frozen solid. Great job on the shipping!
So my friends lets get on with the secret to cooking a duck properly.
It’s not exactly rocket science, but the secret of to a great duck is in the roasting.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Thoroughly rinse your duck inside and out, drain all the water from the inside and pat dry the duck with paper towels.
Place the duck in a roasting pan, that has a grate for the duck to sit on.
Rub the inside of the duck with brown sugar, and then rub the outside of the duck breast with brown sugar.
Place fresh Rosemary sprigs in the duck cavity. Sprinkle Rosemary on top of the duck.
Place your duck in the preheated oven and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the duck from the oven and carefully lift it out of the pan, and allow all of the grease to drain from the duck.
Allow duck to rest for about 20 minutes.
Now cut the duck into two halves. Follow the breast line down the middle and cut along the bottom of the duck along side of the bone. Now remove the center bone by cutting it away from the other half.
With a pairing knife, follow along the inside of the rib bones and separate it from the duck. Follow this all along the inside of the duck until you have removed all of the breast bones.
Now you have a semi de-boned duck half.
I like to serve my ducks over rice, your choice of what type. I used a basmati blend with lentils, it was delicious!!
Start your rice when the duck comes out of the oven.
I like to serve my ducks with a fruit sauce, and the best sauce is made with anisette. I have never been a fan of anisette but in this sauce it is exceptional!! Because the duck meat is so flavorful , fruit sauces are perfect accent to the flavors.
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
2 ounces anisette
1/2 cup berries of your choice
very small dash of salt
In a saute pan melt 1 tbsp of butter and add brown sugar, mix well
Add berries of your choice and coat with butter sugar mixture
Add anisette and burn off alcohol
Add the other tablespoon of butter to thicken the sauce
Add the salt and remove from the heat
Set your oven to broil, place duck halves on a cookie sheet and place under broiler until ducks have a beautiful golden brown color. (do not let them char)
Serve your duck half on a bed of rice and top with the anisette sauce.
This will amaze you, duck is oh so flavorful and although the meat has a higher content of fat, it is well worth it for special occasions!
Have a great rest of the week, stay warm , keep your belly’s full and stop back again soon!!