Saturday, 6 November 2010

Moments in Cliche land

My new ducklings have taken to water like - um - ducks to water!

Hilarious. The school was getting rid of them prior to holidays and as my grandmother hunger is still yet to be sated, I am stuck with small fluffy creatures. Ducks, like dolphins are especially adorable because they have a perpetual smile on their faces.

Here are the ludicrously entertaining Huey, Duey, Louie and Pooey learing to swim in my bath tub.

Addendum: Best roast duck recipe evar.

First you need to make stock as follows: Put the giblets ( but not the liver) in a small saucepan with, if possible, 2 to 5 tablespoons of white wine or vermouth; the small sliced onion, a little piece of carrot and a chopped unpeeled tomato. Let the wine bubble and reduce for couple of minutes. Add a little salt and a bouquet of herbs including parsley, time and celery leaves. Cover with three quarters of a pint of water and simmer gently for an hour or so.

To cook the duck, turn on the oven to low, gas number three, 330°F. If the duck has been trussed with wooden skewer thrust through the legs and its tail end rearing up in the air, remove the skewers so the duck lies flat. Rub it  all over with olive oil. Put it on its side in the roasting tin, and leave it to cook uncovered for 30 min. Now poor from the tin all the fat which is run out. Turn the bird over onto its other side. Over it poor half pint of strained stock, hot. Leave it for another 30 min. Turn it breast upwards another 10 min for the skin of the breast to brown. Pour off the stock to serve separately as a source. 

There will not be much surplus fat to get rid of, because most of it has already been removed by the first operation of pouring from the team. Heated quickly in a saucepan, adding what flavour you please, such as the finely peeled, shredded and blanched rind of Seville orange, the handful of stoned cherries, a few drops of orange or cherry flavoured liqueur and so on.

Do not throw away the fat from the duck. It is valuable for frying bread, for sauteing potatoes etc.
YOu chave no idea how valuable till you taste potatoes fried in duck fat.

Thank you to Elizabeth David and her French Provincial Cooking. If you can find a copy, snaffle it.


  1. Duck eggs in cakes if I recall isn't such a bad idea.

    Very cute.

  2. Ducks int he oven aren't bad either! (Though not officially in my diet. I suspect 3 of them are males - 2 too many. Quelle domage!

  3. Ducks are more delicious than they are cute. Please remember that those parts you cannot reasonably eat - and on ducks there are many - make an amazing soup stock. My favorite, prized even above wild or "heritage" American turkey stock.

    BTW - congrates on kicking nicotine. Yassou bravo.

  4. They look cute..... I had an asian inspired duck salad for lunch on Friday with a friend that was delicious...(apologies to ducklings!!) and you may borrow any of my grand kinder anytime you want!!

  5. Nice to see a school planing ahead, "we have ducks" hmmmm well I am sure something will happen between now and the end of the year holidays.

  6. The school is the local high school and has an agriculture department.It also has chickens, cows, tractors, citrus plantation etc etc etc. The children look after the baby animals but if they're not there, the baby animals have to be sold off to people like me. The guy who looks after the school farm has got just about the coolest job in the whole world.

    Boylan–I need that stock recipe.

    I've yet to experience plucking a duck. As I watch their With feathers grow, I see that they sprout from a layer of dense down. I can't imagine how difficult this must be to remove. Who knows, maybe we'll go into the pillow business. or not.