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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Salmonberries, GEORGE & DONNIE, and . . . Duck with CRACKLINGS

Rainy day: best place to walk is in a forest: you don’t get as wet.   Additional reward:

Salmonberries!

They taste a bit like pincherries . . . which reminded me of a wonderful day long ago when George and Donnie brought us younger kids a special treat.  In my mind’s eye, I can still see a BIG green, leafy branch loaded with pincherries.   You might think that was not a good thing to do, but little kids could not go tramping off into the woods to find their own, and we didn’t get very many treats those days . . . so this was really SPECIAL.

George and Donnie . . . it may have been only one of them who brought that branch home, but, in those days, I thought of them as almost one person because they were so inseparable that, if I was talking about them, I didn’t say one’s name without the other.

George and Donnie . . . thanks for the pincherries and other treats like chunks of cow salt, and the chocolate bars you brought us on Saturday nights. 

George


Donnie

I miss you guys!

********

Every fall, Mom roasted many a wild duck shot by George & Donnie.

The problem with roasting ducks is that if you roast them long enough for the legs to be tender, the breast is overdone. 
That’s why I like to cut a duck up and braise everything except for the breast. 


Just before serving, I sauté the duck breast and cut it into pink medallions.


Serve the breast separately so that everyone will get some!

The problem with braising ducks is that you don’t get that lovely crisp roasted skin. 

Enter Julia Child!  She suggested peeling off as much skin as possible, trimming off the fat, cutting the skin into thin strips, and roasting it to make cracklings.  I tried that once and didn’t like the result.

SOLUTION:  This time I cut the skin only off the back and the neck but left the skin on the legs, thighs, etc.  Do NOT cut up the skin or trim off the fat.  Preheat the oven to 400.   Put the skin on top of a grill pan.  The fat will render and go into the bottom.   Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until brown and crisp. 

BE CAREFUL when taking the pan out of the oven or the fat will slosh out.


Cut up the skin into small squares, toss with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and serve on top of the braised duck. 


                                      Oh WOW!  so GOOD!

                                           ******