OK. It’s safe to get up from under your computer desk now.
I meant Duck! the edible waterfowl, not Duck! the verbal imperative.
I love the Edible Duck. And this is a perfectly appropriate time to enjoy it, given the (probably apocryphal) story that the Momma d’Elisson was in the middle of enjoying a duck dinner when the labor pains announcing the imminent arrival of Yours Truly began.
Yesterday evening, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were out dining with Mr. and Mrs. Eli at Seasons 52, one of the newer restaurants in town. It’s where we had gone with a gaggle of friends to celebrate SWMBO’s birthday a month ago, the home of the Shtuppable Lamborghinis. And, seeing as how I was not sharp-set enough to enjoy a heavy meal, I ordered the Asian Duck Breast Salad, complete with chiffonnade of lettuce, grilled pineapple, almonds and sesame dressing. It was superb: not too heavy, and yet crammed with enough yummy duck meat so that I was well satisfied.
This I had ordered despite having already set the wheels in motion for yet another Ducky Dinner this evening. For I was in the end stages of the three-day advance prep for a Louisiana Duck Tit Sammitch.
The Louisiana Duck Tit Sammitch is inspired by an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I’ve made Emeril’s version, but this one is easier. Which you won’t believe, because it still takes three days to make. But it’s so worth it.
Uncle El’s Louisiana Duck Tit Sammitch
First, get a good size Muscovy duck breast or two. Rub it liberally with a 50:50 blend of kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Take the duck breast(s) out and rinse off the salt and pepper in cold water. Dry with a kitchen towel. Now, put the breast(s) in a suitable size Tupperware container and scatter about 4-6 cloves worth of chopped garlic, about ten black peppercorns, and eight juniper berries. Don’t get overly anal about the measurements. Now dump in a whole bunch of Steen’s 100% cane syrup and make sure the duck is buried in it.
Stick the duck in the fridge for two days. Yes, two days. Turn it once in a while so the duck knows you still love it.
When you’re ready for your Louisiana Duck Tit Sammitch, take the duck out of the fridge and scrape off the goop. Season with kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
In an oven-proof skillet, warm up a little olive oil. Add the breast(s), 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 your preheated oven for 8 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. [I also trimmed off some of the fat and rendered it down to make duck schmaltz and duck gribenes - cracklings. Mmmmm. Agghh, my heart!]
Here’s where Emeril and I go our separate ways.
I grabbed a hearty loaf of multi-grain bread I had scored this morning at Trader Joe’s and hacked off two thick slices.
One one slice of bread, I piled a good handful of some Salade Mort de Vampyr that was left over from our dinner Friday evening. Spinach with lotsa garlic. On the other slice went some excellent Green Hill, a soft, Brie-like cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy, a south Georgia artisanal cheesemaker. [A good ripe Brie, of course, would work just fine here.]
And now, the duck, sliced off the breast and piled high. Put the whole mess together, and BAM! (you should excuse the expression.) A Sammitch that will lay low your Duck Jones.
And that’s not a load of Quap.