Mallard Duck and Potato Wedges

Living with three french people has an effect on your life. Great for the culinary treats, not so great for the waistline.

I like to roam around Waitrose (fancy super-market, a la Whole Foods for our American Readers) an hour before they close, which is when they mark down all the food. Early this week I picked up a few wild game birds, Mallard Ducks, with buckshot holes evident, for $25 dollars down to $7 (£14 > £4).

As the ducks were purchased, close to expiration, a few days ago, there was some discussion in the house about the safety of eating them, and I do admit they smelled like, well, a dead duck that had been shot a while ago, but you are supposed to leave game a few days to bring out the flavor, right? That’s what I claimed, anyway, figuring that we’d all find out at 3 am that morning if this had been a mistake (it wasn’t, we all slept like fat bloated babies that night).

Johann, our resident chef, was in charge of the meal and he made Canard (Duck) à l’Orange. Our job was to prep the oranges, and make the grilled veggies, while Johann did a beautiful job with the duck in my latest find, a Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron pot (Le Creuset is like crack among gourmands, they are amazing to cook/bake/broil/boil/fry in).

He then made potato wedges fried in duck fat! I didn’t know you could even by jars of duck fat, but back he came from Tesco with a jar of duck fat, and we made giant french fries / potato wedges, cooked to a crisp in the fat, seared under the direct heat of the grill. Omigod they were good. Top that off with a few bottles of ’05 and ’02 French wine, and you get an idea why a gym membership is needed just get into my jeans.

Sadly, Igor goes back to France soon, Johann a month later, and Magalie might move somewhere less expensive, leaving me Froggy-less, and wondering where I should move to. Still, it was an amazing year in the house.

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