Friday, November 6, 2009

The Visit

The dreaded happened this week the in-laws came for a visit and all hell has broke loose. On the plus side we have a new bathroom floor instead of bare cement with scattered bits of torn wood, however it has been a bit of a stressful week! between work and home I haven't had a second to sit at the computer so I feel like I am behind on posts. Read on and see why...
Actual text quotes from this week:

Kris "they are here... must start drinking soon!"
Bryan "2 Valium 4 TBS Coffee... grind, brew, serve to dad"
Kris "Mom too"
Bryan "Valium Martini?"

A few weeks ago Kris' parents told us they were going to visit us and finish the bathroom the only condition being that I not be here while her dad works but I do come home in the evening too cook. I get in the way apparently, really I try not to, I rather enjoy household projects but I am by no means a professional level craftsman but I am considered a pretty good cook. I can live with that... The meal I am going to post about today is Braised Duck Breast with Brandy Reduction Demi-Glace and Fresh Blueberries. It is actually the second meal that I cooked while they were here so I am posting out of order but it is my blog so I can do that.

The Duck breast was kind of hard to find we ended up buying it at Whole Foods two 6 oz breasts cost about $1.00 more than a whole duck but I really didn't want to cut my own this time. When I picked up the 4 breasts and put them into the basket Miss Lu started lecturing me, "why are you going to eat a duck? ducks are cute, they are nice."

I told her that she needed to take that up with God, I am not the one that made the nice guys taste so good. She continued, "Have you ever been bitten by a duck?"


"Then how can you do this to one?" I mentioned that using that logic the only thing we could eat at our house wwould be kitten. At least that got her thinking.

My Mother in law brought blueberries that she had picked in the U.P. of Michigan so I thought it would be a nice gesture to use them in the sauce. I started the sauce about an hour before I started cooking the duck, I diced about half a fennel bulb an onion and a w
hole bulb of garlic and put them in a saute pan with melted butter then threw some fresh tarragon in with them and sauteed for maybe half an hour. Then I deglazed the pan with Brandy and strained the deglazing liquid into about a cup and a half of demi-glace added a cup of blueberries and cooked it all together for about 45 minutes.

While that was going I scored the skin of my duck breast (careful not to cut the muscle) and put it skin side down in a hot iron skillet to cook for about 25-30 minutes using a turkey baster every few minutes to drain the rendered fat. After I turned the duck breast over I let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes then put sauce on it and put it into the oven for a few minutes. Above it is served on polenta and garnished with fresh tarragon.

As for the in-law visit... over all it was stressful Kris and I are both dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder just a bit. We have followed through on our bribes to the kiddos to purchase toys for not having melt down in front of the grand parents. The bathroom is nice.

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