Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Rainy Day - Slow Roast Duck

I'm going to try a "live blog" entry, where I update as I go. This is inspired by a favourite post over at Amuse Bouche where she slow roasts a duck.

On the forecast the other day I saw it was going to rain a lot this week so I got in some slow cooking ingredients. Today: Duck.

7am - Milord wakes up. It is gloomy and rain is in the air. Princess would usually have woken us before this but on overcast days she often sleeps in a bit. Heavenly!

7:15 - Milord leaves for work. I lie abed for a little while then get up and make a cup of tea and tidy the kitchen.

7:45 - Princess wakes. I get her up and bring her into my lap on the couch for a bottle in front of the morning news on telly. She drinks half of it, then plays on the floor for a bit while I check email and put on a load of laundry.

8:30 - Princess finishes her bottle then cuddles for a while - she is getting sleepy.

9am - Princess goes back to bed for a nap. Laundry into tumble dryer. I realise our muck-diverting-downpipe-thing that keeps dirt out of the rain tanks is blocked and get drenched from the knees down while clearing it. Then I have a cup of coffee and 2 slices of toast while downloading photos from my camera and writing a blog post.

10am - Some more materials for the shed foundations arrive. I stand in the rain talking to the delivery man who wants to debate the merits of store-bought vs home-grown tomatoes. Then my elderly Greek neighbour pops out of his front door and discusses Milord's plans for a spit-roast bbq on his birthday in a couple of weeks time... at least I can stand on my porch out of the rain at for this chat!

10:30 - Princess wakes up. I bring her into the lounge room and she plays on her mat with dangly jingly things. Finish blog post.

I take the duck from the fridge, remove the packaging, wash it and pat it dry with paper towels. I place it on a rack in a roasting tin and put it back in the fridge, uncovered, to dry the skin further so that it will go crispy when cooked. I should probably have done this last night. Oh well.

11am - fiddle on the computer. Princess complains that she can't see me so I drag her mat over to where I am blogging...

Todo in the next hour or so: Fold laundry, wash dishes, dye hair roots, shower, dress, feed Princess, vacuum and mop floors.


12:30pm - Hair done, showered and dressed. I pulled Princess' mat in front of MTV on the telly while I was in the bathroom. Bad mummy. Then I made her a bottle and she fell asleep on me drinking it. When I got her up on my shoulder for a burp she fell asleep there too... not like her at all. I hope she isn't ill. I put her to bed and she went to sleep immediately.

Google a few duck recipes. Eat 2 apples and drink a glass of water. Preheat oven to 150C (300F). Back in a bit...


It is now 1:30pm - Can't find any recipes I like, so I shall make something up. Send a couple of emails.
Assemble ingredients, realise kitchen bin is niffy, empty it. Still raining so I leave the bags of rubbish on the front porch - I'll take them out to the bin later. Princess grumbles as I go by so I comfort her back to sleep. Wash dishes. Wash kitchen bin. Line with a plastic bag... now where was I? Oh yes.

Roughly chop ginger and garlic and the bulb end of some spring onions. Quarter a lime. Stuff everything into the duck cavity and tie the legs together to keep it all in. Pierce the duck skin all over with a sharp skewer thing, without piercing the meat.

Cooking without a glass of wine feels very wrong, however not only am I determined not to drink during the workday, but Milord and I also have a new pact to not booze Monday thru Thursday. For health and economic reasons... *sigh*

Princess is calling - pop duck into oven, set timer for 1 hour, go and get her. She's smiling and wriggly and happy to see me. Put her on her playmat and turn off MTV, turn on radio instead. Good mummy.

Still todo in the next hour or so: Fold laundry, prepare some solid food for Princess, vacuum and mop floors.


2:30pm - (1 hour) flip duck over, set timer for 1 hour.

Peel one small potato (quartered) and one carrot (julienned) and a chunk of pumpkin. Pop into steamer with a couple of brocolli florets.

Fold one load of laundry, but when I go to fetch the next lot from the dryer I find I must have got sidetracked earlier and it is still in the washing machine. Crap. Bung it in the dryer.

When soft mash potato and brocolli together with a little butter. Mash pumpkin. Open a can of peach slices and cut a slice of banana. Hoik Princess into highchair - bolstered with towels because it is too big. She loves the brocolli mash, is not sure about the pumpkin, and only eats the carrot because she wants to please mummy. The fruit gets "thbbbt" so I clean her up and we go for a walk through the house to settle the food.

Stand on the back porch looking at rain falling on the devastation in the backyard. After a good burp go to put Princess down - she grumbles. Change her nappy, but she still grumbles. Zip her into her sleeping bag and put her to bed - she goes straight to sleep. Huh, she's really tired today, I hope she's not ill.

Stream XFM London off the internet - I really miss UK radio. It is first thing in the morning there and really cold... I don't miss that!

3:30pm - (2 hours) flip duck over and prick skin some more, set timer for 1 hour. It is starting to smell awesome! I could murder a glass of wine. *sigh* Have a glass of water and make a chai tea.

4pm - I am going to sit down with my book and my cup of tea and relax for a bit.

Still todo in the next hour or so: Fold laundry and vacuum and mop floors. Maybe I'll just sweep the floors quickly instead... this blogging thing takes a surprising amount of time!


4:30pm - Flip duck. Drain fat from roasting pan and set aside. It looks as good as it smells!

Princess wakes. I give her a small bottle of milk, then settle her in her rocker where she can see me in the kitchen.

5pm - prepare side dishes. Peel potatoes and carrots. Slice carrots and zuccini and get ready for steaming. Peel and eat a carrot...

Cut potatoes into roastie size and pop into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 min then remove from the heat and drain. Heat a decent glug of duck fat with a crushed garlic clove and a sprig of rosemary in the same saucepan - when it's just starting to sizzle add the potatoes and take off the heat. Put the lid on and shake frantically until the potatoes are well coated, then tip them into a roasting pan.

Mix honey, balsamic and soy ready for basting.

5:30pm - flip duck. Drain fat from the roasting pan again, then pour over the honey mix. Return to oven and set timer for 15 min.

5:45pm - baste the duck. Set timer for 15 min. Try to figure out why my blogpost has gone spazzy... Prepare Princess' bath.

6pm - turn everything off. This could be a very bad idea, but for the next hour I'll have my hands full and I can't be in the kitchen... Bath Princess and give her her bedtime bottle (Milord would usually help with this but he's carting a heap of gravel from the front of the house to the back. In the rain).

7pm - put Princess to bed - luckily she falls asleep easily tonight. Take duck out of oven, pop in the potatoes and turn oven to 180C. Hopefully this works! Milord is starving and snacks on crisps...

Aha! Running the spellcheck kills my embedded photos - don't touch that button again!

7:20pm - put duck back in oven. Baste again.
7:25pm - Set steamer going under carrots.
7:30pm - Add zuccini to steamer...
7:35pm - turn everything off!


Succulent and falling off the bones...

Dish up half a duck each and drizzle with pan juices. Serve with roast potatoes and steamed veggies.

This was delicious (although it would have been even better with a crisp dry white wine. *sigh*)! The only possible criticism I have is that the duck skin and the potatoes were not crispy, but that's probably because I had to pause everything for an hour right at the end.

I could only eat half my duck portion in spite of eating very little all day in expectation of a blowout dinner. Having simple steamed vegetables balanced the richness of the duck and potatoes.

8:15pm - clean up. Stack dishwasher and wash up what doesn't go in it.

8:30pm - Now I just have to tidy up the baby bath stuff in the bathroom and I can relax. I never did fold that last load of laundry or clean the floors... maybe tomorrow.

I'd love a glass of wine right now. *sigh*
I'll put the kettle on for a herbal tea...

It is still raining and Princess is fine by the way - sometimes rainy days just make her sleepy. She was full of smiles and happiness watching me in the kitchen and in her bath.

9pm - I'll go and join Milord in front of the telly. Nighty night.


Nat said...

That looks delicious :-)

I'm exhausted just from reading this post....how do you pack so much into one day?!

waterbob said...

Housewives, mothers and teachers. Everybody thinks that it's a lazy doddle until one actually gets to the nitty gritty. Congratulations, you did a great meal and an excellent post.

Kat said...

my goodness, reading that has made me very hungry!! I have never roasted a duck though do keep meaning to after your friend cooked that lovely one that one xmas in London! That was such a good evening :) Have a great Easter (are Friday and Monday bank holidays over there?) i will try to send you a proper email over it now that I can type with both hands again (did my last one get through okay?)!

greytonsal said...

Looks gorgeous, could almost smell it! Don't worry about the weight, it will fall off as you get busier and busier as Princess grows and grows and gets even more active! Have a lovely Easter.