Christmas Duck

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I'd never tackled full on roast duck before and why not do it for the whole family the first time around, right?  Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment like that.  Did the same thing with a full house for the first time with Beef Wellington.  Guess what?  Either I was really lucky... or I nailed it like a pro.  I think the later.  So I really wanted duck this year and was sort of tired of the beef gig.  I of course waited until the last minute to order the duck and went with D'Artagnan, which of course is great, but perhaps next time I'll research a little to see who else is a purveyor.  

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The recipe I found via Gojee (which I've mentioned before) and it looked amazing.  If you like duck, you're going to want to try this!  It's called "Christmas Roast Duck with Port and Cherry Sauce and Fried Brussel Sprouts".  Oh yes, yum.  All the better too when you're frying brussel sprouts in duck fat!  Wow.  If you don't like brussel sprouts, let me tell you, you should definitely revisit them with this recipe.  I had a little problem with the glaze at first, but it came out OK in the end - I blame the stove at my parent's as it's not gas...  Anyway, I got the duck in the oven and started the cherry sauce, which I used canned cherries from Whole Foods as I couldn't get fresh cherries.  Worked great, but I'm sure the fresh cherries would have been firmer and lent a better visual - but the taste, oh the taste!  And lastly, the brussel sprouts fried with speck.  Speck is similar to proscuitto, but cured a bit differently.  The first time I had it was in southern Austria/northern Italy while I was skiing for Christmas a few years ago.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a fan of gin and one of speck's curing spices is juniper... go figure!  

I basted the duck periodically and the end result is about as lovely as the recipe pictures.  Everyone enjoyed the duck except my mom who declined in the end due to bad childhood memories...  Oh well, more for me!  

This recipe I am not going to attempt on the boat.  Sorry, but the oven space just isn't quite enough, however, it is something I could cook in advance by a day or so and serve cold perhaps?  We'll see about that.

I've saved the bones and plan to make a duck stock on New Year's Eve while I try some new champagne cocktail recipes.  Stay tuned for that story.  Eat well!