In conversation the previous evening over a Hornet's basketball game, it came to my attention, that I need to post more recipes for some food. There is a problem. Recipes and I have fought over the years, due to their confining nature of measured ingredients, and systematic instructions. So the way I cook, is simply based on certain variables (cooking method and flavor profile). The conversation then led to the discussion of duck hunting and wild duck cookery. And so as conversations have spawned ideas, a party is on the horizon. We are planning a Go-Duck-Yourself Superbowl party this Sunday. It may be a little of a competition, as the host's of the block party extravaganza are avid hunters, and while hunting and game are fairly new to me, cooking is not. And while the ideas of what to do with duck, come hard and come fast, here is a simple one that will resonate on the palate for a time.
Louisiana Duck Open-Faced "Empanadas"
Shaved Red Onion, Cilantro, Paprika Creme
Using the pierogie dough from the previous post, will work fine in this "empanada". Brine the duck in a solution of salt, sugar, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and cumin over night. Remove the ducks from the brine and allow to air dry uncovered in the fridge. On a cutting board, mix a pinch of salt and cumin with a bunch of cilantro, and begin to chop, stems included, until all the ingredients are combined and somewhat uniform. Slice the red onion extremely thin, then combine the cilantro mixture with the red onions, let sit at room temperature until ready to use. The salt will leach out some of the moisture from the onion, no worries, just let them all hangout peacefully. In a bowl, combine smoked Hungarian paprika (or paprika), with sour cream, salt, and pepper until smooth. Remove the duck from the fridge and let some to room temperature. Place the breasts into a cold pan, and start to cook over a medium heat (the cold pan will allow the fat to render and cook through), once the fat has rendered itself, flip the duck over to the other side, add cubed butter, thyme, and garlic to the pan, spooning this delicious lipid concoction over the skin, adding flavor upon flavor to the unassuming breast. Take of the heat after, around three minutes or so, and let rest for ten minutes while you finish the dish. Fry off pieces of the aforementioned dough, in the duck fat until crisp, but not burnt. Slice the duck into thin slices, making sure they are thin enough to cut easily. Place the fried dough on the plate, top with the red onion cilantro mixture, then add the slices of duck, displaying all the glory of your spoils(perfectly cooked duck looks magical), then finish with a little of the creme. The plate will be brightly colored, and amazing.
There are no pictures of this dish to speak of, yet, because the picture is in my head. The dish can be seen in its entirety this Sunday on Sycamore Street, between Short and Carrollton. Hope to see you there, and remember Go-Duck-Yourself when thinking of what to do this Sunday.