Monday, 5 February 2018

Duck Breast Dinner



I am dreadfully out of practice and anyone who tells you cooking is like riding a bike, well I can only guess that the bike they speak of must come with an auto pilot programme or preferably be a tandem with some expert on the pedals up front. For the first time in more than a month I actually fancied cooking a bit of dinner on Saturday night, and never being one to start slowly, I jumped right into a favourite duck breast feast I had a hankering for.

But the trouble is, that we are renting this place and have been merely squatting here for 8 weeks. This means that the oven is pristine and as we are offskii in 7 more sleeps, I am being very careful now cos I just don't want to have to scrub that fucker, so I had to dream up an oven free, new method.

And what I came up with was not well thought through. I used to pop the duck breasts skin side down in a hot pan for about 5 minutes to render the fat ( sounds like I know what I am talking about huh?) and then  turn 'em over, top 'em with marmalade and orange slices and throw some sliced leeks in for good measure and stick it in the oven for a few minutes more. Very easy peasy.

But no oven meant that I had to use the BBQ and that is not my domain.

For some ridiculous reason I loaded up the pan with jam and leeks and stuff and turned up the heat. Duck in and fingers crossed. Burning happened slowly at first. I couldn't turn it off, cos the duck would be fucked and then smoke started to fill the house cos the steam / air slurper thing above the stove here is as useful as a marshmallow hammer. The fire alarm went off like a cracker and Dog went spare and Stevie and I went running through the house opening everything and then Stevie smacked the alarm til it stopped.

The gas cook top has never been commissioned for use with bottle gas and so it's not possible to adjust the heat, it's all or nothing, but knowing this and knowing what to do about it are 2 different things.

The meat was flung into a tray for the BBQ and then it was time to try to recover some sort of sauce using the duck fat and the jam, by de-glazing the pan with a good splosh of wine and a dollop of cream, all the while being careful not to dislodge any of the burnt bits. This required some finesse. Not my forte. Oh well.

Italian garlic crispy spuds were not a huge success in the BBQ instead of the oven but the grilled new green beans with lashings of butter and salt and pepper, were a real highlight for me.

It wasn't a complete failure. Although the frying pan has to be retired cos nothing is cleaning all that burnt shit - not even the 3 hour cycle in the disher. Ho Hum.

I am not gonna be knocking Stevie out of the way to use this shithouse kitchen too many more times, before we are off.

Am happy to admit that a poor craftsman always blames their tools, but this is my story and I am sticking to it.

Roll on the 12th when I'll be in charge of my own stuff, in my own house, and the new owners here can wonder what the hell is going on with their new stuff.