Usually when we watch cooking competitions I will either get inspiration or be really impressed with what they pulled off. This weekend we watched an episode of Top Chef from season 10 where they had to cook an omelette as a test. I was not impressed! None were fluffy and light, many were browned quite a bit, and to top it off Wolfgang Puck showed them the proper technique and his came out browned and not so fluffy either.
It’s a strange feeling that if I was there, I might have passed the cooking test over the established chefs! With that in mind I thought it would be a great way to start the day of spoiling my husband for his birthday with delicious food.
I started dinner off with charcuterie and cheeses as the first course. For the main course I wanted to use a recipe I came across on Armchair Sommelier for a Port and Fig Sauce with chicken. I thought this would work very well with roasted duck.
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
In a baking dish place the duck pieces and season with salt and pepper. I had duck legs and duck wings in the freezer to use up.
Bake the duck covered for half an hour. While this is baking chop up about a cup of dried figs. In a saucepan bring to a boil the figs, 2/3 cups of tawny port, a cup of water, and 2 tsp of lemon zest.
Once it boils lower to a simmer, uncovered. When the duck is nearly done raise the oven to 400F/205C and uncover the duck. Remove from the oven when the skin is crispy.
Add a couple of tablespoons of duck fat to the sauce, mix well, and simmer for a few more minutes.
Because I had to divide the duck with four of us I cut all the meat off of the bones that I could to share among us. Top with the sauce. I also did roasted parsnips and pan roasted brussel sprouts.
We all really enjoyed this meal but I think the next time I make this I will add something to offset the sweetness of the sauce with onions to help balance the sweet along with the richness of the duck.
After this we were too full for dessert so last night we had choux pastry with Bird’s custard, raspberries, my salted spiced rum caramel, and whipped cream. Yum!