Take a deep breath.
There is absolutely no reason to fear preparing and making duck for dinner; and at least three good reasons to do so.
One. It’s duck, and it’s quackingly tasty! (Sorry, I had to).
Two. The next day? You get to make duck stock – which is ridiculously fine.
Three. Duck fat. After frying you duck and cooking your stock, you’re gonna end up with a container like this of duck fat. This container alone is worth the effort, but the fact that you got a duck dinner and some duck stock out of the deal?
Oh, and it really isn’t all that difficult to prepare, either. All you need is a duck, a good skillet and some poultry shears – or some sweet talking to your butcher to quarter your duck of choice for you. Just be sure that he or she also gives you a bag of the duck bits (the wings, back, etc.); you paid for those, and they’ll come in handy tomorrow when we make the stock.
•1 duck (5 or 6 lb)
•4 cloves garlic
•3 sprigs fresh thyme
Cut the duck into four or six main pieces (I left the thighs attached to the legs with mine, giving me four nice pieces for dinner). Save the back, wings and other duck bits for stock – I stashed mine in a gallon zipper bag on a platter in the fridge, then added the leftovers from dinner.
Season the duck well with the salt and peppers, then place in a skillet, skin side down, with the thyme and garlic.
Set the heat to medium high.
When the duck begins to sizzle, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the duck over, season the other side with the salt and peppers, cover the pan and continue to cook for 15 more minutes.
Uncover, return the flame to medium high and cook the duck, turning occasionally, for 15 more minutes, until nicely browned on both sides.
How easy was that?
We had ours with some champagne braised pearl onions and balsamic roasted asparagus on the side – oh, and a very nice Ridge Wineries red.
Simple to toss together, stooopidly tasty, and then you get duck fat and stock to enjoy later; fergettabout winner winner chicken dinner – you’re gonna get duck!