Wild Food: Miso-Rubbed, Roast Wood Duck

Tuesday was an eventful day around these parts. One of my goals from last year was to be in Spring classes for 2014.  It almost didn’t (hasn’t? tenses are weird) happened. But, at the last minute, I paid off the last of what I owed UW-Madison from two years ago. And super-extra last minute filled out an re-entry application. Even laster-minute I contacted my advisor, via cell phone, to ask what class he would recommend. That was last week Thursday. Classes started Monday on this week.

Well, the class he rec’d is full. But I attended today anyway, in hopes that some poor sap will drop it before the deadline & I can snap up that spot. I’m checking the course guide every 30 minutes or so. I was speaking full German sentences for the first time in a little over two years. My vocabulary is rusty. The class is named similarly to, and uses the exact same book as, a class I took during my last full time semester (in, ahem mumble2007mumble). Being a transfer student, unfortunately, means repeating some work, in gen-eds as well as my major. But I do need the language practice, so hopefully I can get in. This is all on top of shuffling a ton of paperwork to change my state residency status with the University, as well as applying for some scholarships which apply to my poor, education-interrupted ass.

Anyhow, given my combo fear/determination regarding college courses anymore, I felt a little bit like celebrating today. So when I got back from class and my first homework assignment in two years, I set a duck out to thaw, one of the last two we have.

Looking a tad mushed from being jammed into the freezer.

Looking a tad mushed from being jammed into the freezer.

This was Matt’s little wood duck from up north. At first, I had no idea what to do with it. And nothing in my Duck, Duck, Goose cookbook was speaking to me. I browsed the fridge and my spice cabinet. Still nothing. Until I spied the Ziploc bag holding my leftover shiro miso paste. I’d seen recipes for chicken seasoned with the stuff. Adding even more savory, umami flavoring to duck could only turn out well, I thought. So I rubbed the cavity with miso paste, stuffed some green onions in, and rubbed the outside. Then I brushed it with a smidgen of sesame oil and olive oil, and roasted it in my cast iron pan.

I still have tons left. More miso soup is in my future.

I still have tons left. More miso soup is in my future.

Fresh from the oven at 350F . No idea how long I had it in there- I always forget to check the clock.

Fresh from the oven at 350F . No idea how long I had it in there- I always forget to check the clock.

Glossy, browned skin

Glossy, browned skin

About med-rare

About med-rare

You want to eat that skin. Believe me.

You want to eat that skin. Believe me.

I served it (to myself, Matt’s chronically working late these days) with seared artichoke hearts and a baked sweet potato. The flavor was incredibly rich. This duck had probably been gorging on wild rice all summer. His skin is that lovely white color indicating neutral-tasting fat. And there was quite a bit of it- my cast iron is duck-fat seasoned now.  The miso added an excellent depth of flavor to the skin and meat. I would definitely roast another duck this way.

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