January 14, 2006

Duck Battle

On Tuesday, I bought a duck. It cost $15, because it came from the Cambridge Museum of Fruits and Vegetables. I got it home, unwrapped it and chopped it up. I seared one breast, let it finish in the hot oven, and served it with balsamic-cooked peppers.

On Thursday, I grabbed the other breast, sauteed it, and served it on top of leftover butternut squash risotto, fried up as a risotto cake and paired with some roasted carrots and string beans.

This weekend, I'll season the legs, wrap them tightly in foil, and cook them for several hours to make duck confit, finishing them before serving by crisping them in a dry nonstick pan over moderately high heat, seven minutes a side.

And, if I'm good, I'll also find time to use the carcass to make a batch of duck soup.

Bottom line: we got three dinners -- maybe five if I manage a big batch of soup -- from the duck. The duck is an indulgence, but then so were the meals; these weren't "oh, leftovers" days. It does make me feel a little like iron chef. Paper chef?