Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

How stupid can we get?  I don’t know about you, but I still tend to try out soemthing new to me when we have people around for a meal.  Trying soemthing the forst time when you ahve guests?  Just heap that pressure on!

We had bought the duck in large pieces.  All the recipes told you to cook it whole and slow (for British tastes).  I couldn’t find how long to cook it.  Never mind…if this happens to you and you have a whole, quartered duck, then do it for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, instead of the suggested 3 hours for a whole duck. 

And it does need to be roasted on a trivet.  No one has these in a domestic kitchen – bu we all have a grill pan with a wire rack in it?  it works grand.  Start at 200 C for a fan oven for the first 20 minutes, then reduce to 170 C.

Best accompaniment is bitter orange sauce.  originally made with Seville oranges (usually for marmalade) but these are in season in february / March – great for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. 

I used ordinary oranges.  Took the zest off one with my trusty zester.  Put that in the small blender with orange juice from one and a half oranges, and some strange fig and bitter orange jam we had in a christmas hamper.  It was horrible as jam, but superb with this sauce.  Add about 4 teaspoons of lemon.  And it still didn’t taste right.  So, I put some pieces of the half orange tha was left over in the liquid.  Still not biter enough?  It was strangely bland.  I added three teaspoons of sugar – it was in the recipe – but it felt wrong.  I don’t now what alchemy ensued, but the sauce was transformed.  Isn’t chemistry wonderful!

We had with carrots and runner beans (with extra lemon juice and butter added to both).  Oh, and boulangere potatoes – see next post for them!

And the leftover sauce – we couldn’t chuck it away, so we kept it for the next day.  Get ready for that post.

Love your food!  Phil the Cook

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