At Christmas in my family, it is traditional to make a huge mess in the kitchen, as big as you can. Every woman needs to be in the kitchen, they all just have to take part in the meal. Who knows why, Christmas dinner is prestige. Well, this year, for the first time, I’ll be participating too, and not just with any small recipe.
Can you guess what’s in this bag?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is an almost 4kg heavy duck. With the head on and everything.
I will be making Pâté de Canard en Croûte, which is one of Julia Child’s most complicated and exciting recipes – basically, a whole baked duck stuffed with meat and enclosed in pastry. It is gorgeous and very scary at first. But she said everything is more complicated with fear – so I’m not going to stress over it. As long as I stick to the recipe, it should all be very well.
The difficulty of the dish lies… well, everywhere. First of all, the duck has to be boned – which I will be doing. According to other people who have tried the recipe, this is actually the easy part… After de-boning the bird, it has to be seasoned with port and cognac and then stuffed with the mince veal, pork and pork fat stuffing. It has to be sewn together, tied up, browned on all sides, then enclosed in pastry and baked until it is perfect.
For now, it will rest in the fridge until Monday, when first preparations will be made. Sharing these news may have been a very bad idea, just in case I totally mess up – but with a bit of luck and skill, the opposite might just happen. We shall see.
Wish me all the luck! And if you have any tips, now would be a good time to share them with me. 🙂 Thanks!
Vera Sugár, graduate with a journalism and creative writing degree, started writing at the age of 10. Passionate about literature, arts, history and languages, she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. Her works are available at http://goodaswinter.wordpress.com.