Thursday, January 24, 2008

Duck Bites

I made these over the holidays, and forgot to post them. I wanted to play with duck, and I figured that wasn't a bad time. Note: this is not a recipe. It's little more than meat and cheese on a cracker. It just happens to be really good meat and cheese on a cracker.

I did use about two duck breasts for this. Well, maybe one and a half. Some of it might have been, um, tested by the chef beforehand. And afterward. You get the idea. Anyway, I scored the fat side of the duck in a diamond pattern and then put it in a skillet over medium-high heat. This is a pretty classic French technique. It allows for a lot of fat to render out, which can be used for all sorts of goodies. Just not this dish.

After the fat side was nice and brown, I flipped it over and cooked the other side. When it was done, I let it rest for a few minutes. When I started slicing it, the middle was a beautiful dark pink; maybe just a little above medium-rare. I think it was cooked just about perfectly. There was still a nice layer of fat around one side of each piece that worked beautifully with it.

Placed between the duck slices and the cracker was a slice of Wensleydale cheese. I even happened to have a brand with a picture of Wallace (of Wallce and Grommit fame) on top of the wax. To finish it all off was just a dab of a roasted chipotle and raspberry dressing that I picked up at the store. It added just a slight fruitiness and heat that set off everything nicely, adding a contrast that really made the dish. I think that had I added any more of it, the heat and the fruit would have overpowered the duck and the cheese. As it was, the balance was perfect.

Our friend Tim was over with his wife, and he polished off a lot of those. His wife tried one, but she wasn't used to duck, so that was more than enough for her. My wife and I finished off the rest. We offered some to the vegan that was helping our new landlord install some flooring, which is right about the point that we learned he was vegan. He declined. His loss.

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