Monday, January 15, 2007

an intimate feast

i have never cooked a whole chicken. i just don't really like all the parts of a chicken. i will occationally buy a rotisserie chicken, but mostly for the most the best chicken salad ever. i have cooked a whole turkey, but only once. it was stuffed with some weird rice concoction and i wasn't overly satisfied with the experience. i have, however, cooked a whole duck on several occations, and i think i really rather liked it. ducks are a bit fatty; they are mostly all dark meat. this recipe really only serves two, but i think that is really just right. this one is easy to make, smells up the whole house in just the right ways, and then seems impressive (roast duck, bottle of red wine, some candles...). andrew and i enjoyed this on new years eve this year and other special occations in years past.

roast duck stuffed with apples and sausage

3 1/2 - 4 1/2 lb duck
1 lb maple flavored sausage
4-5 apples, sliced
1 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t sage
2T cognac
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup beef stock

thaw out the duck. remove all the insides (they usually have the insides all cleaned out and then come with a seasoning packet and some leftover parts stuck back in; its really disturbing to pick them all back out, but hey, if you are ok with eating something that used to have a face, then you should be ok with violating it by picking outs it insides). set the duck aside in a big casserole dish in which you want to cook the duck. in a skillet, cook and mash up the sausage (sort of like you would ground beef). remove and set aside in a big mixing bowl. in the same skillet, saute the apples until they are somewhat tender. toss into the mixing bowl. add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, sage, and congac. mix thoroughly. in the skillet, bring port and stock to a boil. reduce to 2-3 T. pour into apple sausage mixture. stuff the duck with desired amount of mixture. set the rest of the stuffing aside for later. smear some butter on the duck skin. salt and pepper to taste. bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. place the rest of stuffing around the duck and continuing baking for 20 more minutes. this dish is good with some sort of buttery potatoes, maybe sauted or mashed. it goes well with both hard cider and dry wines. enjoy!


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