Dangerous Duck


I’ve been doing this blog for almost five years–FIVE YEARS!–and in those five years I have never, not even once, made myself sick from something I cooked.

Until now.

Look at that lovely autumnal duck dish, above. It comes from a famous chef’s cookbook, but he’s not such a famous chef that I want to blame him publicly for the torturous night that followed this dinner. All I will say is that if you come across a recipe that tells you to cook duck pieces in a pot, finish cooking in the oven ’til brown, to remove the duck and add to the pan white wine and then lots of dried fruit–dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried currants, raisins–and Christmasy spices like nutmeg and Allspice along with orange juice and some stock which you cook and serve with the duck on a bed of wild rice in an explosion of bewitching colors and smells that’d make you kick the ripest summer tomato away for love of all things fall, don’t!

At least, that’s my perspective: I was the one who suffered. But Craig, who ate the exact same thing, did not get sick and he says it wasn’t the duck. He and I ate everything exactly the same that day–I made eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, though in mid-afternoon I stuck a spoon into a jar of homemade currant jam for a pick-me-up. Could the jam’ve been the culprit? I doubt it.

I also snacked on lots of the dried fruit before putting it in the pot; maybe the dried fruit did me in? Maybe the heat killed all their diseases and that’s why Craig didn’t get sick?

But now we both have nasty colds, so no matter what: this duck dish brings you bad luck. Plus, cooking the duck by itself in the oven for 40 minutes really dries it out; Craig could hardly cut through it and despite all the luscious colors and smells, I had to agree that the duck was a dud.

Don’t make it!

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