Stinque Recipe Challenge

Thanksgiving on the Upper West Side means being jarred awake by the sound of helicopters covering the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, it also means Julia Child’s Duck Stuffed With Apples and Sausage.

And yes – I could totally pull off that dress.

Consider this an open thread for your cooking adventures.  I’ll post my duck saga as it happens, and you should send me photos to post as well.

Here’s the defrosted Long Island Duckling, weighing in at just under 5 pounds:

Caneton Roti a l’Alsacienne

You will need:

5 1/2 pound duckling

1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

pinch of thyme or sage (I wlll use chopped fresh sage)

1 small sliced onion

shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold duck (I plan to use one w/ a rack)

1 medium sliced carrot

1 medium sliced onion

a bulb baster

Estimated roasting time – 1 hour and 20 to one hour and 40 minutes (for stuffed duck, as here, add about 25 to 40 minutes)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

At this point you would stuff the duck (see below) – for duck without stuffing, season inside with spices and  the small sliced onion. Truss the neck skin, legs, and wings to the body (just google truss duck/chicken and you’ll see myriad ways to do it), dry the duck, prick the skin around the thighs, back, and lower breast.

Place the duck breast up in the roasting pan, strew the vegetables around it, and set in middle of oven to brown slightly for 15 minutes (recipe does not call for using a rack, but I am going to because this is a duck we’re dealing with).

Reduce oven to 350 and turn duck on it’s side, regulating heat so duck makes cooking noises but fat does not burn. Suction off fat at intervals – about 30 minutes later, turn duck on its other side. Fifteen minutes before end of roasting time, salt the duck and turn breast side up. Duck is done when thickest part of breast is at 165 degrees.

For the stuffing;

1/2 pound pork link sausages (I have sweet Italian)

4 or 5 crisp eating apples

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sage

2 tbsp cognac

1/4 cup port

1/4 cup stock or canned beef bouillon

Saute the sausages in a skillet until lightly browned. Drain, then mash with a fork, and retain fat.

Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut quarters in 2 or 3 lengthwise pieces and saute in sausage fat in batches, lightly browning them.

Place apples on platter, and sprinkle with seasonings and cognac.

Pour the fat out of the skillet, Add wine and stock and boil rapidly until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, then pour over the cooked sausages.

When apples and sausages have cooled, mix delicately together. Stuff loosely into the duck, then sew or skewer the vent and truss the duck. Roast according to the instructions above.


We’re having duck as well, with a wild rice stuffing (Mr Cyn’s in charge of that so no actual recipe). I’m making pumpkin gorgonzola flan with toasted hazelnuts for a starter (from Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table”, which I just got from the library). Sides will be roasted brussels sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes baked with a praline topping (nod to Southern heritage–family recipe from Mr Cyn’s aunt in the Delta). For dessert, French apple cake with salted-caramel-pecan ice cream. We have a couple of lovely Oregon pinots to wash it down.
Happy eating, everyone!

@Mistress Cynica: Wow – that’s got a serious degree of difficulty. In addition to the duck I’m only doing mashies (gf’s favorite) and french green beans. No dessert – likely to be too full.

Mrs RML permitted me to serve as prep cook last night. Just got done sweeping and mopping, made the food drive run to church. Scored some vermouth and Bailey’s at the Walgreen’s. We’re expecting at least a dozen people – my parents, mother in law, two brothers one with a fiance and her niece, MRS RML’s friend the photographer and her hubby with the newly gay son plus various drop ins. Roads are good, Son of RML will build a fire soon. We’re ready, y’all.

@redmanlaw: We did the sides last night. Mr. SFL made his insanely delicious and insanely complicated corn bread and chestnut stuffing with smoked bacon from Corralitos Meat Market in Santa Cruz County, I made roasted cauliflower tossed with sea salt and cracked black pepper and my famous cranberry sauce. Mr. SFL started the 19 pound turkey in our oven at 6:30 am, with ETA at my out-laws at 3 pm PST. Still need to make the Brussell sprouts stir-fried in olive oil. We’re bringing a tasty Sonoma pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. My mother-out-law is responsible for desserts (usually a pretty decent apple pie from an old family owned bakery in Walnut Creek) and the salad. My father-out-law prepares the Burmese curries and jasmine rice. Mr. SFL’s cousin and her family from Burma will also be there, I suspect there will be some toasts to Aung San Suu Kyi.

Recipes in a sec. Need to go baste the turkey. Turkey was too big to smoke on the barbecue this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. This is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s not religious, not overly commercialized, don’t have to buy shit, and it’s centered around good food and wine.

@redmanlaw: commis chef is an honorable position.
@SanFranLefty: please ask your husband to commit that stuffing recipe to paper, and I will post it – want to try it next time I do a stuffed bird.

@blogenfreude: With this recipe, the stuffing is cooked separately from the bird.

Recipe here. He uses dried cranberries instead of dried cherries, and added some chorizo, too.

@SanFranLefty: Wow – that looks great. I will try stuffing the bird w/ some and cooking the rest in a pan – double recipe. You can never have too much leftover stuffing.

I’m making the green bean casserole for the first time, but I’m adding more mushrooms and a layer of shredded parmesan. Mushroom soup never has enough mushrooms.

Food sounds great. I was at the nephews’ with all the scary children. Very nice. Very good food for a lot of people.

@blogenfreude: Back when I used to cook we always had a goose for Christmas, cooked very slowly till crisp and succulent. I used to make a stuffing that I loved more than the bird. Buy good prunes, about 1lb, soak in good sherry for at least a week, turning from time to time. When ready to stuff, peel good tart apples, core and cut in quarters, roll in lemon juice to stop discolouring. Drain prunes, drink residue, add to apples. Stuff bird and sew up. Bring to table, carve, add stuffing.

Next day (Boxing Day), I’d make a soup from goose bones and brown lentils which would be garnished with diced goose meat and prune stuffing.

Then you have wonderful goose fat in which to cook potatoes for a year if cleaned thoroughly and frozen.

I bet your duck was good. Duck is good.

@Benedick: Just reading about goose fat and prune stuffing makes my (likely) parasite ridden innards rumble. I haven’t eaten solid food in about 20 hours, with about 18 more of travel remaining.
@SanFranLefty: One year I threw some tart apple pieces in with the cranberry and the stuffing turned out great. Blog is right, you can never have too much leftover stuffing.

So, what’s the Stinque preference for cranberries: real, or canned? I only eat fresh made cran sauce.

We’re not doing the traditional turkey day. I made hearty lentil soup (very good!) and some stone-ground cornbread. Last night I cooked bacon-wrapped meatloaf. In the oven now are red potatoes seasoned with thyme, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and some bacon fat from breakfast (which was Freedom Toast, eggs, sausage and bacon). I usually use the red potatoes (cut about into about 1″ pieces) under a whole chicken when I make Chicken Under a Brick — air circulates well around the butterflied chicken, and the chicken fat drips on the potatoes. I’ve made the potatoes with olive oil — not sure how the bacon fat is going to taste with all that other stuff.

We’ll go nuts for the winter break, and I promised the GF chicken soup made from scratch with orzo and spring veggies — it takes about four hours to make, but it’s the best chicken soup I’ve ever had. I’ve also promised eggnog (the heated kind – I hate raw eggnog) with whipped cream. Mine will have rum, natch. I’ll let the younins’ get tipsy on rum balls.

Breakfast tomorrow: homemade pancakes, more eggs, etc. The children love me.

If anyone wants a great cornbread, sage and sausage stuffing recipe, lemme know. Cooked outside the bird.

@SanFranLefty: I have never eaten a chestnut. Thanks for the recipe!

Oh, and GF found my old timey pasta maker. I promised we’ll make pumpkin pasta with a pesto sauce on winter break. I need to break down and buy a pasta drying rack. I’ve jury rigged all sorts of pasta contraptions, and they really don’t work all that well.

The dishwasher is on its fifth load, and we did two by hand also. Table cloths and napkins are in the washing machine. We fed 15 today, including two vegematarians. We had two Venezuelans, a Mexican, a Navajo, Hopis, my half Commanche niece, a bunch of Pueblos, a Yankee and native Hispanics. One of the best minutes of the day was when I was loading up on pecan pie and listening to the Babel of conversation from the next room.

People fell asleep during football (Cowboys almost pulled it off), a baby rode a skateboard, no one fought, no one cried, everyone loved the turkey, ham green beans with bacon and cream, mashed taters, Trader Joe’s Brussel sprouts in gravy (shhhh). Mrs RML knocked it out of the park. My youngest brother I never get to see checked out the gun cabinet and wants to go out for firewood. Can’t forget to mention the fresh civiche a friend brought. I could have filled up on that alone.

Great holiday dinner. Now chill time.

@redmanlaw: I fed two – see blog posts. Dishwasher on load 3, but that includes a load done early in the day to set me up with what I needed to cook duck. There will be another load tonight – keep in mind it’s a slender Manhattan apartment dishwasher though ….

Dishwasher? Haha! My hands are raw.

Now whilst my US Cousins are eating their Turkey day feast. I’m trying to organise my Yule/Solstice lunch for various waifs and strays.

A waifs & strays lunch is for those who have no family or loved ones to spend the day with and are feeling lonely.

I’ve had to download project planning software to organise the whole catastrophe.

On the Menu is Cold Roast chicken (chook) with fresh herb and lemon stuffing, Hot roast pork with baked vegies, German Potato salad, garden salad with charred capsicum, and a 70’s flash back salad (3 bean salad with celery).

And for afters there’s a choice of dark chocolate mousse . or dark chocolate and chillie mouse with ice-cream or cream.

Now all I need to figure out is what to wear on the day!

@blogenfreude: Mr. SFL reminded me that besides adding some spicy chorizo, he rehydrates dehydrated porcini mushrooms and includes those and the chorizo as the bonus to the stuffing.

/survived the out-laws. Took only 30 seconds from arrival to have the first passive-aggressive insult directed at Mr. SFL from his mom. We’re home now with martinis.

@Nabisco: Fresh cranberries, are you joking by mentioning canned? Here’s my awesome cranberry relish recipe that can be eaten either warm or chilled – it’s been a hit for going on 15 years. I can’t remember where I originally got it:

SFL’s Cranberry Relish

couple tbsps. olive oil
2 c. minced onions
1 c. minced celery
1/2 c. minced carrots
12 oz fresh cranberries (one bag)
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium oranges – need 2-3 tbsp of shredded orange peel and the juice of the oranges
1 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. maple syrup (more if you want it sweeter and less tart)

Warm up the oil, saute the onions, celery, and carrots for about 10 minutes, until soft and brownish. Stir often to keep from sticking.

Add the cranberries and salt, stirring often over medium heat, until all the cranberries are popped. Remove from heat, stir in the orange peel, orange juice, apple sauce, and maple syrup. Cover skillet and let flavors soak.

Can be made up to two days beforehand. Serve either warmed up or chilled, whatever is your preference.

@redmanlaw: It’s not truly Thanksgiving or Christmas until someone has gone to Walgreens.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Here in NYC Walgreens bought Duane Reade – does that count?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I had to go once for plastic bins when I blew up the disposal with potato peels on Christmas and we had to wash dishes in the bins.

Charlie the Plumber came by the next day to fix stuff. We gave him pumpkin pie, he tuned my guitar and played us some Spanish and rock and roll tunes. Charlie killed someone in an accident on an icy road last year. He wasn’t charged, but he’s still freaked out.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Talking about running to Walgreens made me think of Robert Earl Keen’s hilarious song “Merry Christmas from the Family”

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch and homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn’t know what to think of him until he sang
Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins from his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kay
Who talks all about AA
Chain smoking while the stereo plays Noel, Noel
The First Noel

Carve the Turkey
Turn the ball game on
It’s margaritas when the eggnog’s gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension cord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of Pampers, Marlboro Lights
Halellujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can’t remember how I’m kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our Christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited out on our front lawn
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night, Silent Night, Oh Holy Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
It’s Bloody Mary’s
Cause We All Want One!
Send somebody to the Stop ‘N Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites
A box of Midols, some Salem Lights
Halellujah, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the Family

Feliz Navidad!

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