Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Last Night's Dinner: Duck!

Before I get into last night's dinner, I've been meaning to mention the dinner I made last Thursday night. I can't find the recipe online right now, but it was super simple: just spaghetti (I used cappellini) tossed with a clove of garlic, a pinch of red pepper, halved grape tomatoes (1 cup) and 7 ounces of fresh spinach (all sauteed in olive oil), and 4 ounces of goat cheese plus a cup of reserved pasta water added at the very end. I added some shrimp to the mix. It was so easy to make and really very good, even without tampering much with the recipe or ramping up the spices.

Now. Back to last night. Over the weekend, we were talking about how we always order duck in restaurants because it's just not the kind of thing we make at home. So yesterday morning, when I found myself staring at a whole duck in the BJ's meat section, I thought, "Why not? It can't hurt to try it." So I bought it.

The duck came with an orange sauce, but I decided I'd rather try to go in a more Thai direction. I picked up some peppers and an onion and some basil (regular, not Thai - I know...I know), along with an off-the-shelf Thai chili sauce. The dish I was trying to emulate, the crispy duck from Bangkok Kitchen, definitely involves frying, but I figured it wouldn't ruin things too much to roast the duck and saute the vegetables over really high heat.

And you know? It totally worked. The flavor was good and really not that far off of the restaurant's dish. The duck was moist and tasty, too. I served it with jasmine rice, and it's pretty hard to screw that up.

Oh, I'd do a few things differently - I'd cook the duck at a higher temperature (the package recommended 350) so the skin got crispier, or I might even take Cooper up on his offer to fry it in our turkey fryer. But overall, we were both pleasantly surprised by how everything turned out. I just wish there'd been leftovers so that I could have made a duck salad today.

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