While the goose was very handsome and stuffed with a scrumptious wild rice dressing (Honey and I like to live on the edge), the meat was tough. It was flavorful, of a dark hue reminiscent of red meat, and definitely required a patient set of choppers to consume. Everybody present nodded graciously over their servings of tough bird while hacking with their knives. In testimony to its toothsomeness the gallant goose was soon reduced to its natural armature... which I later used as the basis for a stock. Our conclusion after the meal was that goose is the mutton of fowl. Ah well, now we know.
Without a doubt, the duck was the jewel in the crown of our meal. Everybody got at least a taste, and as the birthday girl I ate the drumsticks. When I had my first bite I believe my first words were, “Oh my god, Honey! Mmm, oh my god.” Yes, sampling my Honey's cooking is a near tantric experience.
How to describe this duck? It was moist and literally dripped juice when carved. The flesh was more tender than a kitten sleeping nestled in the palm of your hand. The glaze was a balanced combination of sweet, salty, and spicy that produced a pleasant tingle and complemented the meat rather than candying it. The result was glorious. Ah, my loves, and oh, my friends you will be moved when you taste this bird. You will swoon, you will weep, you will slap yo mama. Honey and I immediately agreed that we should make this dish more often.
Honey's Roast Duck
Recipe adapted from: The Hungry Mouse
Sharp pointy knife
Tweezers, or needle nose pliers
Roasting pan with rack
Storage container for drippings
1 duck, 6 lbs, thawed
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon sriracha
Honey was in charge of this one, so the directions and illustrations are minimalist. Thaw your duck ahead of time in your fridge. This will take a couple days. When you are ready to prepare it:
- 1, Preheat oven to 300 Fahrenheit.
- 2. Remove innards from within the bird. Set aside for future use, or freeze until I write about what to do with them. Trim off the extra skin and fat flaps around the openings. Set trimmings aside with the giblets. Examine your bird closely and pull out any stray quills that remain in the skin. Rinse the duck and pat dry. Pour out any water that is inside the cavity and give it a quick drying too. Take your pointy knife and poke lots of little holes all over the skin. Be careful not to cut so deep that you mar the flesh. Sprinkle in and out with fancy salt and rub it into the skin with your hands. Fold the tips of the wings back behind the shoulders. This helps keep the wings from burning. If you wish for a more demure presentation you may use twine to truss the legs together like a Victorian lady crossing her legs at the ankle. This also serves to keep the duck's extremities from burning and drying out. In this case Honey let it all hang out. What can I say? He's a citizen of California.
- 3. Lay your bird breast side up on the rack in the roasting pan. Slide the whole thing into the oven and roast for 3 hours: have a cocktail, work on your colcannon, snuggle with your special somebody.
- 4. About 10 minutes before the 3 hours are up prepare the glaze. In a bowl add the soy, sriracha, and honey. Mix until combined. If the honey is too viscous you may heat it up a bit in the microwave until it is more workable.
- 5. When the time comes pull the duck out of the oven and set the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Carefully remove the duck and rack from the pan and set aside. Now you can harvest the fat! Spoon, or pour out into your chosen container. BE SUPER CAREFUL you don't want to fry yourself. Allow fat to cool, store in fridge, and use for future cooking endeavors.
- 6. Now back to the duck. Replace in the pan with the rack. Flip it breast side down and brush the whole back with your glaze. Slide it into the oven which is now a searing 400 degrees. Roast for 5 minutes.
- 7. Pull the duck out again. Flip it breast side up and brush with glaze. Roast for 7 minutes. Watch it carefully and be ready to rescue your bird if it starts to scorch.
- 8. After seven minutes take the duck out of the oven and cover it with foil. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and eat. Giggle and marvel at how ridiculously awesome your life is.