Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Duck with Apple and Dried Plum Stuffing

I have a conflict with the word prune. It simply has no sex appeal what so ever. Not that I demand an endless parade of sensuous and constantly tantalizing dishes, but I just can't say "I'm eating duck with prunes for Christmas!"-and be happy with that bland, dreary description. It lands with an unlovely clunk on my ears. But if I change prunes to dried plums, it has instant charisma, it sounds more chic and turns that clunker into a sexy jazz chord. In other words, "a plum is a plum is not a prune"-with apologies to Gertrude Stein. All semantics aside this really is a tasty and classic dish (usually done with goose rather than duck). This stuffing recipe is based on a recipe that my friend Richard Perry makes every year at Thanksgiving for turkey. I've added some apples and a duck. Thanks Richard!

3 cups dried bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1 apple, diced
1/2 cup dried plums, soaked over night in cognac and coarsely diced
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1Teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Chicken stock-as needed

Saute the vegetables, fruits, and seasonings in the butter over low heat for about 10 minutes until they are sweated and translucent-do not brown.

Add the bread cubes and toss gently, add some chicken stock to moisten the stuffing and stir gently.

This stuffed the duck nicely, but the recipe would probably have to be increased for a larger fowl.

I wanted to use my Geaorge Foreman counter top rotisserie, so I stuffed the duck and sewed up the duck really well and trussed it pretty tightly before putting it on the spit. I roasted it for about 2 hours, and it turned out beautifully, I had to empty the drip pan a couple of times, reserving all that delicious duck fat of course.

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