Archive for November, 2007

Tgiving – Two

Duck has been disassembled – stock in process. Shaping rolls, cooking cracklins. To see pictures, follow this link: Read the rest of this entry »

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello friends and family! Just thinking of you on this holiday, so I thought I’d get motivated and post about our day and especially our meal. It’s all a work in progress, so I’m sure I’ll be posting all day about it. Feel free to comment and tell me what you are eating today.

Chris and I are chillin’ today. No big plans, nothing too social. It’s actually quite nice – I’ve been gone a lot for school and work and we’ve been keeping different schedules, so this will be some quality time for us . Heh. Plus, I’m not going to think about school or work all day, which is a treat for me.

Here’s what my menu plans are for the day…I got hooked up with a farmer out of Dallas, OR who models his farming practices after Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm…the name might ring a bell if you’ve read Omnivore’s Dilemma. My shortcut way to explain this is Happy Meat. I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch, but I want to know that my meat was brought up on a farm in a humane way by people who care about the animals and the land, something that is getting harder and harder to find these days with our food systems focused on factory farms and cheap meat. I’m not going to soapbox here, today anyway. If you want to know more, please ask me.raw duck

So I met my Abundant Life Farm farmer on Monday night and purchased a pasture-raised 4 1/2# duck. It was happy, at least until recently. 🙂 I’ve cooked duck before, but not very often, and there is only one dish I’ve made that I want to recreate – a smoked duck breast that we used to make at Viking Culinary in Franklin. I turned to a cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me a few years back that is co-authored by Jacque Pepin and Julia Child, Cooking at Home. Mom, remember our Julia Child cooking shows? I’ve used this cookbook before for some great recipes and instructions on traditional French-style dishes, and it doesn’t disappoint. I love Jacque’s Roast Chicken.

Anyhoo, in order to use the duck to its fullest, I am going to smoke the duck breast and serve it sliced with a fresh grapefruit sauce over greens and cranberries. I then plan to pan-roast the legs with parsnips and shallots, and make a killer sauce from cooking the carcass down into stock and then into a lovely brown sauce. And cracklins with the skin! squash

Also on the menu are a version of a sweet potato roll that some of you have had before – they are dipped in honey butter and rolled in graham cracker crumbs before baking. mmmmmmmm. This time I’m using butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes and I started the dough last night to get a jump on it. In fact, I should go shape those rolls and start the duck stock now. I’ll be back later to tell you about the additional sides and general updates. What are you cooking today? dough

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