Duck Dilema

The duck seems to have caused fun and games from the start.

I ordered said duck from my butcher in the beginning of December. I explained it was a duck for 2 and also ordered half a hundredweight of bacon and some steak. Christmas Eve, mid-morning (I'd finished work the day before and couldn't move any quicker), Boy, Best Friend, Mate #2 and I rock up to the butchers.

He'd forgotten my order. Personally, I didn't care. These things happen and I'd have found a way around it. But then he found me a duck in the freezer. This was not my duck. This was an emergency duck.

The emergency duck was a lot bigger than the duck I'd ordered. My butcher and I have a long-standing relationship. I tell him how many people I'm feeding, he factors in other variables: teenage appetites, hungry male company etc, and then he calculates how much to stick in the bag. This system works well. I've never cooked short using this method. But this emergency duck, was pushing the limits of my roasting pans.

Now my butcher said the emergency duck would defrost in the fridge in time. I believed him. I stopped believing him when I took emergency duck from the fridge and tried to remove it's innards (the innards were simmered within an inch of their lives to make sauce). At this point it was around about 11(ish. Very ish. Boy and I had started on the not-so-innocent smoothies when we unwrapped our pressies. No idea exactly what time it was). I cleaned the sink, put the plug in and attempted to drown the frozen, emergency duck in tepid water. The oven was already on, so I bunged in nibbles thoughtfully pre-prepared by our personal chef at Waitrose (if you think I'm playing with filo pastry, you've got another thing coming - disappointment). Boy and I nibbled our way through BBQ wings, filled filo baskets and ceddar and bacon rings, before I remembered the frozen, emergency duck. It was no longer frozen.

In my usual way I threw herbs and spices (and mango chutney) into a bowl, made a paste, covered the thawed, emergency duck, like it was sunscreen and the duck was going out in the mid-day mediterranean sun. Covered with foil and into the oven it went. In the meantime, Boy decided he wanted to play Oblivion. He's full of good ideas, my Boy is. So we adventured.

Two-thirds of the way through, Boy and I drained the duck fat off so I could roast some spuds. I had a brief experiment with roasting chesnuts which was a failure. One chestnut exploded. Burnt chesnut is not a pleasant smell, I know this. Especially combined with roasting emergency duck. It sounds like it would go, it didn't. Boy and I drank another batch of not-so-innocent smoothies.

Eventually, we put one of the Christmas dvds on: The Expendables. No, it had nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with machismo, brotherhood and explosions. I nearly fancied Sly Stallone, but made do with Jason Statham. Om nom nom.

Speaking of which, the emergency duck was finally cooked. Probably a bit over-cooked in truth. Boy, piled his plate up high. Me, by that point, I wanted as little to do with that damn bird. He says it was tasty. He finished his plate. Teenagers. God love 'em. Metabolisms set to GO-GO-GO. We spent the rest of the evening playing Oblivion. I gave up and went to bed at around 9.30ish.

Not the most exciting of days, but it was exactly what we wanted to do, exactly how we wanted to do it. And that's all that matters.

Oh yeah, have you got any ideas what we can do with the rest of the emergency duck, because there seems to be an awful lot left.


  1. You should have watched "Duck Soup".
    We're having an emergency Turkey tomorrow.

  2. Duck sandwiches. Put in freezer to bring out as emergency pack-ups.

  3. I'm not really here by the way.

  4. I never thaw meat in the fridge unless I've got at least three days in hand. And you're supposed to cut a split in the skin of a chestnut before you roast it. Hold it with the curved side in your palm, in a cloth (just in case the knife slips) and make a little slit with the tip of a pointed knife in the flat side.

    I'm a bit late here, aren't I? But you didn't ask, darling.

  5. Mmmmmm sounds lovely!

    One word: (amazing) sandwiches

    I wish I had any duck left. It was all eaten and I'm not going out until Tuesday so I must make do with what's in the freezer and that's not an awful lot. For some peculiar reason it seems to contain mostly frozen fruit.

  6. Exploding Nuts?
    Sorry ... I mean even at The Infoman ... anyway ...
    I'd de-bone the bird, roast the meat and make a kind of duck-kebab. There's enough fond for sauce. Maybe some Knoedel will be possible ...
    By the way , XL's turducken is a great invention.

  7. rog ~ hope your emergency turkey turns out well. Neither of us like duck soup.

    xl ~ sounds like a total meat fest, apart from the turkey, which will never get invited in this house.

    dave ~ funny you should say that, I wondered downstairs and there was Boy with the duck and a couple of rolls. Problem solved.

    I've obviously had too much to drink, if I'm imagining you.

    z ~ who's the domestic Goddess? Oh that'll be you. I'll remember who to ask next time.

    cyberpete ~ are you making daquiris? Or smoothies honey? You can always pop around here for munchies. We've not got a shortage of food round here.

    mago ~ I know, I'm missing MJ too.

    Boy has since solved the duck problem. I was going to turn it into a pie. Ah well.

  8. I'll bring the champers, frozen fruit and bottle of white rum.

    I'm sure we can make something great out of that

  9. cyberpete ~ I've got pate, crackers, antipasto, cheese, bacon, eggs, biscuits, nuts, chocolates and this list goes on. I am not short on food.

    If we blend the fruit with the white rum and drink the champers while we decide what else to add to the concoction...well, we'll figure something out.

  10. Sounds like heaven

  11. yummy.

    One of my favorite restaurants uses duck in their gumbo. Probably a bit late now for that. But it's VERY tasty.

  12. hayward ~ I've never made gumbo, but I love eating it. Had I some left, that would have definitely been a good idea.


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