May 11, 2005

Poultry questions

Tonight for a send-off dinner, I'm trying Gordon Hamersley's roast chicken with lemon and garlic. It's a bit of a production: its sauce is based on double chicken stock, so it's a two-weekend adventure. So far so good; I'll try to let you know how it works out.

Note added in proof: pretty good. The small organic chickens (raised respectfully in California and Vermont, respectively) worked well, the sauce was worth the work. Not at flavorful as at the Bistro, but not bad at all.

Last night I made some duck confit, because it's tasty and because it'll be handy for Linda while I'm away. When I make confit, I always pour off and save the duck fat, because a little duck fat is much better than vegetable oil for cooking potatoes. (Sally Schneider has this one nailed: treat fats as if they were really, really expensive. Want to fry your potatoes in less fat? Use only the fat you get from your roast duck. Running out? Wait for the next duck!)

Question: when I chill the duck fat, I get another layer of water solubles, like a dark stock. Is this good to save? How should I be using it?

Answer: from eGullet, the consensus is that the water soluble layer is tasty, though it tends to be salty. Add it to soups and sauces.