Tonight I tried to make a feast for my family. The menu was Roasted Duck with a variation of Orange Sauce, Wild Rice and Roasted Broccolini (recipe for this is already on the blog). The meal itself wound up being a disappointment, but all in all the day was terrific and for that we are all happy and blessed.
I researched how to cook the whole duck to make sure it was not overcooked, but the skin was crispy and the fat fully rendered. I made very minor modifications – I used a roasting rack rather than putting the duck directly on carrot, onion and celery in the bottom of the pan only because I was out of carrots and didn’t realize it. Other than that, I followed the recipe I had selected.
The duck was cooked at high temperature, then the temp turned down, the duck flipped every 1/2 hour, until the internal temp read 165. All of that was great, though the duck was not at all crispy. I turned on the broiler and broiled the duck, on both sides until it was a lovely golden brown and the skin was crispier (it never got really crispy).
For the sauce, the recipe called for making a sugar based syrup, adding orange juice, wine vinegar and a little broth, then taking broth and some of the duck drippings, bringing that to a boil, adding a beurre manie (softened butter blended with flour) to thicken, then adding the orange syrup to it and blending. This was a total disaster. Again, I followed the recipe instructions and it turned into a greasy tar-like consistency, looking awful and tasting worse. And getting it out of the pan, just to throw it away, involved something akin to what I imagine as an old-fashioned taffy pull.
And the most disappointing thing for me, is because I got busy making the sauce, I neglected the broccolini and overcooked it.
We ate the duck sauceless and I thought it was just okay, though Mike and Ben liked it. The wild rice could have used more salt, and the broccolini was a little dried out, but edible.
Not one of my successes, so, needless to say, no real details and no pictures. I will make it again sometime, and you will get better information when I find a recipe I like or write one myself.
However, sitting down to dinner with the family, after a day of a few gifts, playing games, nice conversation and some movies, was worth everything and for that I feel blessed.
So, from my family to yours, wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Blessed Kwanzaa, and if you celebrate nothing, wishes for a great final week to 2016. And, no matter how good or bad 2016 was for you, we wish you a better and wonderful 2017.