I've had duck before. But only at restaurants, I've never cooked it at home. It's always been something I thought was weird to make at home. I have no idea why. I even recently said to someone while perusing a cookbook, "Who makes duck? Nobody cooks duck!"
So I made duck.
My partner and I worked together on this one because I don't do well with carcasses. I imagined duck to be a lot like chicken but it is not...at all. It's extremely fatty and the body is much longer. I was disturbed, not gonna lie. But I'm a strong believer that meat eaters should have a strong connection to their animal foods. I don't just choose meat blindly because it's on sale or looks good in its packaging. Every time I buy meat, I know where it comes from, when it was harvested, how it was raised, etc. This duck was special because it's life ended to fuel mine. I appreciate that.
We rubbed her in fresh parsley, cumin, black pepper, pink Himalayan salt, and thyme and stuffed her with celery, carrots, onion, orange, and parsley. The smell was INCREDIBLE before it even went in the oven.
And when it came out...the whole house smelled like Autumn. It was beautiful. I sautéed some green beans with coconut aminos and black sesame seeds and reheated some roasted kabocha squash as side dishes. We were both SUPER stoked to enjoy this meal.
I mean, look at that beautiful meat. It was so damn delicious, words cannot describe. And we managed to cook it to PERFECTION. It was tender, juicy, flavorful, and satisfying. The only pain was carving it. The fatty tissue layer beneath the skin is SO thick and the connective tissues are very tough. That duck was held together like gorilla glue.
And then I smoked the neck. Ok, not really but I did eat it and it was by far the best part. My partner ate the liver...I couldn't manage. But the heart was all mine! :)