Friday, January 13, 2006


Mr. Debonair likes an evening meal that is elegant, yet is easy to throw together at a moment’s notice. This one took just three days.

First, go to your neighborhood Purveyor of Meaty Products. Purchase two fine Duck Breasts and take them home.

Once home, remove the Duck Breasts from their wrappings. Give them a quick rinse and dry with a clean kitchen towel, for you know not on whose meat your Meat Purveyor’s hands have been.

Mix together 1/4 cup coarse kosher salt and 1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns. Rub the duck breasts thoroughly with this mixture, wrap in plastic film, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After the breasts have sat in the salt and pepper rub for a full day, take them out and rinse them off in cold water. Dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel.

Place the duck breasts in a flat glass dish or some other inert container, preferably one with a snap seal. Mr. Debonair uses Tupperware, the plastic container that is, alas, well known for burping. Schmear the breasts well with about 1/2 cup or more of Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup. Throw in 4 chopped garlic cloves, a tablespoon of dried juniper berries, and about 10 whole peppercorns. Cover well and stick in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

When you're ready to enjoy your King-Hell Duck Breast Sammitch - for that is, indeed, what Mr. Debonair is preparing - take the duck breasts out of the fridge and scrape off the goop. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

In an oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add the breasts, skin side down, and let cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

When the skin is nice and crispy, turn the breasts over and cook for another 10 minutes. Then, stick the entire skillet in the oven for 5 minutes (if you like your meat medium rare) - 10 minutes for medium-well. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing across the grain.

While all this is going on, lightly toast a couple of English muffins - or use a nice multi-grain bread of your choice. Sometimes Mr. Debonair has to make do with whatever the hell is in the house.

Get out your blender. Into it, lob one whole egg, a teaspoon of Colman’s dry mustard, a couple tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and four peeled garlic cloves. Start your blender, and while it’s running, s l o w l y drizzle in 2 cups of olive oil. The stuff will start to thicken up nicely after you get about 1/2 cup of oil in there. Mr. Debonair only used a total of 1 cup of oil, and it worked out nicely; then again, he wasn’t cooking for a God-damned army, was he? Is the stuff nice and thick yet? You’ve just made aioli: garlic mayonnaise.

Now to assemble your King-Hell Duck Breast Sammitches.

Get your bread, English muffins, whatevah, and spread each piece liberally with the aioli. Now, add a layer of sliced duck breast meat. Slice up a few thin pieces of Brie cheese and bury that duck under the Brie. Add some mixed greens to add a little bulk, and you’re good to go. If you want, jack it up even more by adding a few rashers of lean, grilled bacon. [Mr. Debonair elected to have the bacon-free version.] Cut the Sammitches up if you wish, then serve them forth.

King-Hell Duck Breast Sammitch
A couple of King-Hell Duck Breast Sammitches.

Excluding the three days you will need to marinate the breasts, you can put these Bad Boys together in about 30 minutes. And you’ll have a heap of aioli left over for other uses. Like Tuna Fish Salade Mort de Vampyr. One bite, and you’re safe from Count Dracula and his undead buddies for a solid week.

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