Happy Friday dear reader! Are you thrilled the weekend is finally upon us? I certainly am.
To celebrate the upcoming weekend, and the last Ladurée Lunch, I decided to make something I never have before: duck.
Let’s open our wonderful Ladurée Savory Cookbooks to page 138, where we’ll find the recipe of the day: Magret de canard, muffin salé et confiture de carotes à l’orange (Duck Breast, Savory Muffins with Carrot-Orange Marmalade)
- 2 eggs
- Crystal salt
- Duck legs
- White pepper
- Silicone cupcake molds
Not Pictured: olive oil, and chicken bouillon cube.
As always, I modified the recipe to my taste, changing two main components of the recipe, because of course I did.
Orange carrot marmalade was impossible to find, so I substituted with the very available simple marmalade, and the duck breasts? Became duck legs. The recipe calls for duck breasts and I went out fully intending to buy duck breasts, but of course I made a mistake and bought duck legs. Ideal? No, but I made it work somehow!
I also didn’t use a poultry carcass, substituting it with a chicken bouillon cube, which seemed sufficient.
2. Savory muffins
Before starting the Ladurée Savory Challenge, I never made sauces or, as the French call them, jus. Whatever meat or fish juices came from the cooking process were poured on top of the meal and that was it. I can see the appeal of specifically making a sauce, though: it doesn’t take much time and it adds flavor dimension to the dish.
The sauce of the day was plenty easy: trim the duck fat and brown it on a pan. Add the bouillon cube dissolved in water instead of the carcass, then the chopped onion, the diced carrot and the thyme. Since I used the bouillon cube, I didn’t have to add more water, and just cooked the whole thing for a while.
Even though the recipe said to cook for an hour, my cooking time was half an hour, any more and the whole thing would have evaporated. I strained it, and voila.
2. Savory Muffins
I almost wept when this part, because yes. Baking. I love baking. I miss baking. I can do baking with my eyes closed and half asleep, so at least this bit I knew I would nail.
And right I was, because it was a simple element to bake, even if I had to make some changes. The process was basic: mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl (I used a mixer), then add the milk, melted butter, and eggs. Beat everything until there’s no lumps.
Only issue was that the recipe called for waaaaaay less flour than necessary. I had to basically triple the amount stated in the recipe to get something that wasn’t super liquidy.
15 minutes in the oven (the book hilariously specifies 16, which I love), cutting them in half, sticking a slice of marmalade in between, and the muffins were done.
Now the duck, the quickest mortal enemy I’ve ever made.
Like I mentioned above, I did go out intending to buy duck breasts, but I bought duck legs instead. Instead of cooking the legs as a whole, I just deboned them.
Just. Like it was easy or something.
I know nothing about deboning, so it took me roughly an hour to remove the skin from the legs. It was horrible.
After that, though, it was an easy ride. Salt and pepper on both sides, pan fry in olive oil for a few minutes. The cookbook once more told me to chuck them in the oven for 5 minutes, but my tiny bits of duck were so tiny I didn’t dare.
This dish is a tale of many flavors and personal tastes.
The sauce was mostly delicious, and the duck was a tinsy bit fat but edible. The muffins, though… Alone, awesome side dish. With the marmalade… No. Sorry, but not for me.
Level of difficulty: 5 out of 10, as decided by me.
Level of yumminess: 6 out of 10, as attributed by the fam.
A new meal! Hint: you eat it outside.
Savory and Sweet food – yay or nay?