..if it walks like a duck… and talks like a duck… I’ve put it in the oven too soon …
So, this year, before doing the actual Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day with my parents and sister, we’ve decided (or, well, actually, I have decided) to give some things a test run, just to see what needs to be tweaked, whether the timings are alright, and so on and so forth.
Tonight was, therefore, duck night. Because one of the two main courses will be (yes, two main courses..) duck! Quack!
For the try out the main thing was to see whether my timing calculations would give me a perfectly rose chicken breast. Which, as you can see in the picture above, was a success! Hurray!
Another item on the to-do list was to see whether it would go well with a butternut squash and sweet potato puree. It did. Puree might need some minor spices tweaks, but otherwise, it was good!
The potato wedges were just there as a filler for today, since today we’re not doing a 5-course meal. How strange.
But, in terms of taste, the duck was perfect. Nicely seasoned with some pepper and salt and later some cinnamon and honey. But there’s still something missing. A sauce-ey item, probably, so I’ll be looking for that in the next few days. If you’ve got an idea, please, let me know.
Obviously, there will also be some different presentation, but today wasn’t about that..
But, for now, the test run was quite a success! Cannot wait for Wednesday.
And until then, here’s what I did.
For the duck:
- Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius.
- Score the skin/fat layer like this:
..hope the duck’s not cross with me…
- And season with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Bake it, on its skin, for 5 minutes in a frying pan on medium heat. You won’t need any butter or oil, for the duck skin and fat layer provide you with more than enough.
- After 5 minutes, turn it and bake the meaty side for about a minute, turning it a bit to its sides too to make sure that there’s no more raw meat visible on the outside.
- Place the duck in an oven dish, skin side up. Season with a proper amount of honey and cinnamon. Drizzle with the fat from the frying pan and put it in the oven for about 12-13 minutes.
- After it’s done, leave to rest in some tin foil for 5 minutes.
- Serve sliced and, again, with some of the fat from the oven dish. And with a sauce of some kind.
For the puree, you need:
- half a butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and diced
- ± 200ml beef stock
- spices to taste. I’ve used cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, pepper, clove,
And what you do is, very simple..:
- Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius.
- Bake the butternut squash and potato on a tray (covered in some sunflower or olive oil) in the oven for about 35 minutes or until they’re both nice and tender.
- In a food processor, mix it with the stock (add in parts, until you think it has reached a good consistency).
- Add spices to taste and stir.
Hopefully I can give you an even better recipe next week!