Gorgeous Slow-Cooked Duck Pasta

That recipe name is Jamie Oliver's - not mine. Only someone like Jamie can call his own dish "gorgeous". Especially with that "gorgeous" British accent.

I won't lie: this dish wasn't a slam dunk. It was "easy" in that it didn't take great culinary skill, but it was wicked time-consuming. I was in the kitchen for no less than three hours, only taking about a 5-minute break to have a glass of Prosecco in the white chairs*. That said, it was worth every single millisecond. This meal was winter personified: eating it made you feel warm, safe, comforted. I knew for certain that I was packing on the fat to keep me warm in winter. Indeed, that's what my zipper told me this morning too. And, again, it was worth it.

Because I'm lazy as all get-out, I'll link to the recipe as posted at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Here is how it turned out:
Should you decide to give it a go, here are some notes I made:
  • Jamie calls for sultanas and pine nuts. Don't bother. The flavors without them are still intense, rich, and complicated. Adding the sultanas (raisins) and pine nuts would muddy it up. There is a lot to be said for simplicity and subtlety, Jamie.
  • I used a half-bottle of Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba for the recipe and drank the other half with the meal. Heaven. But should you want to pair beer with it, Adam's Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale gave my Barbera a run for its money. Just make sure your ale isn't too cold - just above room temp is ideal.
  • Jamie being Jamie, he didn't give a size for the duck. The recipe just says "a duck". For god's sake. For the record, I had a 5-pounder.
  • My duck skin didn't get "thin and crisp" like Jamie said. So I took off the skin first and set it aside. I took all the duck off the bone and tossed it in the sauce, per the recipe. While the sauce was "blip"-ing for another half-hour, I put the skin on a cookie sheet and kept it in a 350-degree oven for that half-hour. Blissfully crispy skin was the result. I salted and peppered it and set it on the table (you can see it in the photos). It was good both as a snack with dinner and a topping to the pasta.
  • There are lots of variations on this pasta. I probably won't use pasta next time. I'll put it over mashed potatoes, as Jamie suggests. Or better yet, I'm going to eat it as a stew with no pasta or starches. Maybe some crusty bread for soaking up the juices at the bottom of the bowl. Aaaaahhhhh...
  • This was a stupid amount of pasta for only 2 people. There's enough for Adam and I to eat the whole week. Next time, I'll halve it. With the other half of the duck meat, I'll make something different later in the week, like Ina Garten's Warm Duck Salad. On the upside, here is what I'm eating for lunch on a Sunday, at this moment as I type this:
Oh, and in further I-Don't-Hate-Winter news, here is what we had for a nightcap:

Eat, drink, and embrace the cold.

* Many of my regular readers have been to my apartment before...thus they know the white chairs. If you don't know the white chairs, then you need to invite yourself over!

Note: I know I gave lots of notes. This is the rub with Jamie: he leaves lots of room for interpretation...but for those who need/want lots of guidance, he is not your guy. So consider yourself warned.


Jerry said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this. I have to say that this is one of my favourite Jamie Oliver recipes!

Anonymous said...

I disagree about the pinenuts and sultanas, they give an interesting texture and a subtle sweetness.