Consider breaking with tradition this Christmas and forgo the usual turkey. Be bold. Serve roast duck. The complaint about roasting duck is the fat it contains. My darlings, you WANT that fat. This recipe eliminates the fat from your roast duck, and the bonus is the duck fat you collect can be used in any number of delicious and decadent ways . The orange sauce is an easy version of that famous French dish, duck a l’ orange. Grab your basting bulb and join me in my kitchen by clicking on ROAST DUCK WITH ORANGE SAUCE.
Here are ten things I would make with duck fat.
1. I would make duck rilettes. Rich, garlic scented duck rilettes. I would take a split of champagne, a baguette and the duck rilettes. Then The Good Husband and I would walk down our road to the river. We would watch the massive cargo ships churn by, the setting sun turning the water to molten silver.
2. I would walk out to the vegetable garden and pull the sweetest of baby carrots. Then I would sauté them with cipollini onions in lots of duck fat. I would add a little honey and a pinch of cayenne and slowly cook them until they were tender and brown.
3. I would warm a generous amount of duck fat and gradually whisk in a little red wine vinegar and a good dollop of Dijon mustard. I would poke around in the herb garden and find the freshest herbs, perhaps tarragon. Chopped shallots and some spinach or frisee and my salad would be ready.
4. I would dig in the garden for the tiniest new potatoes. I would toss the baby potato wedges with duck fat, freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt. I would roast them in a hot oven until tender, and sprinkle them with fresh thyme. The Good Husband would grill a thick steak, cut it into slices and we would eat in front of the fire.
5. I would shop the farmer’s market searching out the most perfect fennel. I would poach wedges of fennel in a heavy casserole, with enough duck fat to cover until meltingly tender and redolent with the aroma of licorice. The ocean is just a short drive away. The picnic basket would be packed with crusty bread, tiny lamb chops, and a hibachi.
6. I would bake tender, delicate buttermilk biscuits substituting cold duck fat for the butter, and adding finely chopped chives. Then I would slice ham wafer thin and pile it on the biscuits with a little grainy mustard. A bottle of Shiraz and sharp, sweet green grapes would go into the picnic basket. The Good Husband and I would walk down to the edge of the field and watch the eagles rebuilding their nest.
7. I would make fish and chips extraordinaire with perfectly fresh fillets of sole. They would be dredged with flour, salt and pepper. Then I would pan-sear them in duck fat until golden-brown on both sides and just cooked. A sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley and the sole would become perfection on a plate.
8. I would cut sweet potatoes into batons, and toss them with duck fat, salt and pepper. A very hot oven would roast them in a few minutes. I would serve them with my extraordinaire sole fillets. Fish and chips sublime.
9. I would whisk very fresh eggs with a little cream, season them with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Then I would melt a little duck fat in a small sauté pan and scramble those eggs to new heights of goodness.
10. I would make more duck rilettes. I would pack the rilettes in white ramkins topped with a rich layer of duck fat. I would give them to everyone I love.