Nanny Rhino and the three bird roast

My excuse fobbing you off with my Nanny Rhino entry today instead of writing a proper blog entry?

I woke up late.

Feeble.

So anyway, today it’s about duck. Enjoy.

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Duck has been a recent revelation to me. My interactions with it have been few but all extremely enjoyable. I first ate duck at a small restaurant near a yoga class I used to take every week. It was Bikram yoga which, for those of you who don’t know, is like yoga on acid. It’s in a heated room and is like a fight to the death, a struggle between good and evil, between you and the heat, to win and make it to the 90 minute mark without having passed out or vomited. If you make it to this 90 minute mark, you feel invincible. Shaky on your legs, but invincible. And really damn hungry! I would wobble out of the class, change and leave, wide-eyed, looking for the nearest place I could get food. I would have taken anything on offer but thankfully, the nearest thing was actually a really great little restaurant. I’d order about four things off the menu, blinded by my intense hunger, not even sure what I’d ordered.

 

Quite often, a total surprise to me, a duck stir fry would arrive and I would consume it in one inhalation. It was so amazing. Inspired by this, I would occasionally buy a duck and hoisin sauce wrap so my mind had started to pair the two together.

 

Then last Christmas, a neighbour had recommended I buy a turkey crown for Christmas Day lunch as a full turkey is really too big for two. So off I went to Waitrose, on Christmas Eve, to buy my turkey crown. Surprise of the century when I got there – no turkey crowns! Well, who would have believed that on Christmas Eve, the shop would have sold out of turkey. Clearly, my forward-planning skills have much improvement to make.

 

I looked sadly at the shelves, which were mostly bare, and spotted two candidates for Christmas lunch. One was a stuffed duck crown with a pork and orange stuffing. The other was a three bird roast; a pheasant, stuffed into a partridge, stuffed into a duck. Noticing all the wide-eyed panic around me, I grabbed both, held on tight and called my other half.

 

I’ve got stuffed duck crown or a three bird roast! Which do you want? There’s not much time! I might not make it out with anything!”

 

The, uh, the three bird roast! The three bird roast!” he yelled. “Good luck!”

 

Throwing the crown back on the shelf, I made a mad dash for the tills, holding my three bird roast protectively. A few people made eyes at it, longingly, but I pulled my jacket around it and kept my head down until my money was handed over and I was out of the shop, on the home straight.

 

That duck was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I made a simple carrot and turnip mash on the side and we used the roasting juices to make gravy and we just ate and ate and ate. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was.

 

The following recipe is another thing I made to impress my brother and his wife when they came over for dinner. It’s a guesswork version of the first duck I ate, post-yoga.

 

Duck stir-fry

Olive oil

8 mini duck breast fillets (or two large, with the fat removed)

A few spring onions

A handful of oyster mushrooms

1 orange/red pepper

Hoisin sauce (plum sauce will also be fine)

1 white onion

1 garlic clove

Thick egg noodles

Sesame seeds

Put some hot water in a pan to boil.

Put a splash of olive oil into a wok and add the garlic clove and the onion, finely chopped. When everything has warmed up, add your pepper, sliced into long batons and mix everything around a bit. Add your duck fillets in, depending on the size, you can slice them smaller, if they look a bit too large.

While the duck is cooking, put your egg noodles into your pan of water, which should be boiling by now and give them a few minutes to cook. When cooked to al dente, drain the noodles and let them sit for a second.

Add the chopped oyster mushrooms to your pan with the duck and check your duck to see if it is cooked through. If it is, give the mushrooms a minutes or two to soften. Add your hoisin sauce in and stir immediately so everything gets coated. Then add your noodles in and mix again, so the sauce is evenly coating everything. Lastly, add in the spring onions, finely sliced, toss everything around a bit and serve, finishing with some sesame seeds, sprinkled on top.

I must just add a little aside to this Nanny Rhino post because my brother, having eaten the whole thing and the main and the dessert, asked, as we were sitting chatting, what was in the duck starter. As I listed the ingredients, he went “O! Mushrooms! I thought that was just bits of fat off the duck and I didn’t want to say anything.”

 

So I apparently come across as the type of woman who would serve up a stir-fry which had slabs of fat in it. I don’t know whether to be a little depressed over that.

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9 responses to this post.

  1. yummy duck stir fry.. something new to me. Have a nice weekend.

    Reply

  2. Does Turkey Crown mean a turkey breast? I’m not brave enough to cook duck but there is a restaurant in Portland that instead of croutons puts duck cracklings on their salads and they are FAB U LOUS

    Reply

    • You can do it Maggie. Get some mini fillets and throw them into a wok with some veg and hoisin sauce. I dare you. A crown is both the breasts tied together with stuffing inside.

      Reply

  3. Please don’t erase the comment here: I don’t care much for duck. It isn’t bad; I simply feel there are too many other things I really like more to have it. I have tried it in an Indian restaurant; as I said, okay, but I like curry and the other spices more on chicken, truthfully.
    Scott

    Reply

    • It’s ok. I think our friendship can withstand this blow, mainly due to the enlightenment I recieved from you about sun tea. I understand that duck is not for everyone.

      Reply

  4. I am told by my barber yesterday that Christmas was celebrated with goose rather than turkey.

    Reply

    • Yeh. I think that is the traditional thing but geese are harder to come by in your average Waitrose and the nice local butcher’s which would probably do it is about ten minutes walk away and I am laaaaazy….

      Reply

    • Yeh. I think that is the traditional thing but geese are harder to come by in your average Waitrose and the nice local butcher’s which would probably do it is about ten minutes walk away and I am laaaaazy….

      Reply

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