Saturday, March 25, 2006

Duck Breasts with Orange-Ancho Chile Sauce (Page 396)

  • Date: Friday, March 24, 2006 - 8:30pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Cotton
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Cotton picked random numbers until we arrived at this recipe (his first random number landed us on an octopus recipe that takes 25 hours, so we had to keep going until we got something reasonable...). This dish was quite good. The sauce had amazing flavor - the combination of the citrus caramel and the ancho chiles was really nice. The meat was slightly overcooked though. We cooked it to the internal temperature reccomended in the recipe for medium rare meat, and then let it rest as indicated. When we sliced it though, we discovered that the meat was medium to medium well, rather than the medium rare we had aimed for. I was going to fault the recipe for this, but really it's my fault. The recipe specified using Muscovy duck breasts of a particular size, and I wasn't careful about finding Muscovy duck, or breasts that were precisely the indicated size. Muscovy duck meat is much different than the typical duck you buy in the grocery store. Plus, my breast was much larger than the recipe indicated. I think these factors combined accounted for the unexpectedly extensive residual cooking while the breast was resting. I can't fault the recipe for that - it was user error. Anyway, even with our slightly overcooked meat, this dish was really good, so properly cooked I think it would be awesome!

Cotton is back from his extended stay in India, and last night we cooked dinner together. I hadn't cooked with him before, but I discovered that he's a really fun person to be in the kitchen with. Plus, he seems like someone who can get excited about food, which, as you might imagine, is a quality I really like in a person. It was a fun evening!

Lately I have had a number of conversations that I think normally would have been difficult, or upsetting, or something. But I don't feel upset by them. I can't help but wonder what that means. Am I becoming numb to the world, or am I just happy enough with my life that these things don't bother me? Last weekend I actually felt genuinely upset for a couple days. On Sunday night I laid in bed and just felt terrible. At the same time, though, I felt so relieved to know that I could feel terrible. It has been such a long time since anyone has affected me enough to really make me feel bad. In a way that's nice, but it also seems a little sad...

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