Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roast Duck

Roast Duck

When I make roast duck I follow Julia Child's recipe in "Mastering The Art Of French Cooking."

The secret of making delicious duck is to not over cook it.


1 5 1/2 lb. duckling
1/2 t. sea salt
1/8 t. pepper
a pinch of thyme
1 small sliced onion
1 medium slice carrot
1 medium sliced onion
Shallow roasting pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season the inside of the duck with sea salt, pepper, herbs and sliced onion.  Secure the legs, wings, and neck skin to the body.  I use twine.  Prick the skin around the thighs, back, and lower breast.  Dry the duck thoroughly with a paper towel.

Place the duck breast up in the roasting pan and strew the carrot and onion around it.  Set the pan in the middle level of the oven for 15 minutes to brown slightly.

Reduce the heat to 350 degree and turn the duck on its side.  Remove accumulated fat occasionally with a bulb baster.  Basting a duck is not necessary.

About 20 minutes later turn the duck to its other side.

15 minutes later salt the duck and turn it breast up.

The duck is done to medium rare if the juices from the fattest part of the thigh or drumstick run faintly rosy when the meat is pricked.  The duck is well done when the juices run pale yellow.

When done, discard trussing strings and place the duck on a platter.


To make a sauce spoon out all but 1 Tablespoon of fat.  Add 1 - 2 c. of stock and boil rapidly scraping up roasting juices and crushing the vegetables until the liquid is reduced at least by half.  Correct the seasoning.  Add some butter and swirl around in sauce.  Pour sauce over sliced duck and serve.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wild Foraging

In the winter in southern California you can grow a wonderful assortment of vegetables in the backyard garden.  Cool season vegetables that do well in the winter are lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, green onion, garden peas, endive, escarole and kale.

In the winter I always seem to get out of a garden mood.  I really like the IDEA of a winter garden.  I have yet to actually do one.

Come winter I like to spend my time hiking in the hills. The hills are green and as the rain comes wild edibles and wild flowers begin to appear.  When I am out hiking in the winter if I keep an eye out I might find wild edibles such as wild onion, miner's lettuce, mallow, rose hips, or wild strawberries.

Foraging is fun.  If you are interested in learning more about wild foods I recommend getting a good plant identification guide or taking a class.