Thursday, January 11, 2024

Weekly Cooking Report January 11: Roast Duck with Potatoes and Lemon Green Beans

 What would you say if I said I could put you in front of this duck for just 96 hours?

Well I can! You can do this. 

This is the first recipe I tackled when I decided I really wanted to learn to cook. And you can do it too. Here's the recipe... well we aren't doing all of this but it's got the duck part. 

You'll need to shop for the duck (about a 5 lbs.) kosher salt (which always helpful, it's the standard cooking salt, and especially for this recipe), one decent sized russet potato per 2 people eating, one lemon, some olive oil, and however many green beans you expect your family to eat. I'm not a fan of leftover green beans so I try for a close approximation. 

The biggest challenge here is butterflying/spatchcocking the bird, and that's more of getting over the idea than actually doing it. Here's a video from food network on how to do it with a chicken. Looking at the H.R. Geiger concept sketch that is the interior of a spatchcocked duck is a moment where you decide if you're really a carnivore, but once you've done that you slice down the fat of each breast,  salt the bird, put it on a roasting pan with paper towels between the pan layers and leave it in your fridge for 4 days. 

Yes, that's the 96 hours. 

90 minutes before dinner time set the over to 350 and take the duck out of the fridge. Remove the paper from the roasting pan. While the oven heats up, wash the potatoes, dry them, prick them a bunch of times with a fork, and rub olive oil onto them, and set them aside. 

When the oven is at temp, put the duck and potatoes in the oven. The potatoes can just lie on the over rack, next to the roasting pan or below it. Set timer for 30 minutes. When the timer dings, rotate the duck and set the timer for another 30 minutes. 

When the timer dings again, take out the duck and potatoes and set the over to 450 Remove the duck and top of the roasting pan to pour off the duck fat into a measuring cup. That's great for cooking later, but you don't need it again now. Put the top of the roasting pan back on (with the duck). When the oven comes to temp put it back in for 10 minutes. (if they are, wrap them in foil to keep them warm)

Test the potatoes with a fork to see if they are fork tender. If they aren't they go back in with the duck.

During this 10 minutes, pour a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan, apply medium heat and chuck in the green beans. While that is cooking zest the lemon over the green beans, then juice the lemon over them. REMEMBER LAST WEEKS ADVICE - zest first, then juice. Trust me. So much easier. 

When the timer goes off, take out the duck (and the potatoes if they were in there), move the duck to a platter, slice the potatoes in half, and place the green beans around the duck. 

Serve to a grateful family. 

I can't over-emphasize how dirt simple this is. The duck rests. the duck and the potatoes roast at the same time. Anyone can sauté green beans. If you want to make it look like you put in a ton of work and have 4 days to prep, this is the recipe for you. 

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