A continuing series on weekly meals that use sustainable, organic, local and ethical food during the challenging winter months. For more information, go here to the DDC section of Not Dabbling in Normal’s website: Dark Days Challenge.
The dark days can be delicious. The duck breasts that I had left from my duck carving and confit adventure of a few days ago (last week’s dark days challenge) made a terrific weeknight dinner that came together quickly. I coated the duck breasts with an herb rub that I made last summer from sage, rosemary and garlic from my garden and let them sit while my oven warmed up to 400 degrees. I sautéed the breasts skin side down for a few minutes to release the fat and flipped them to sear the meat side just slightly. Into the hot oven for 5 minutes, set aside for another 5 minutes to let the juices collect, and then carved, the meat was medium rare and just perfect.
I used my recently rendered duck fat to sauté cold boiled and cubed local organic Green Mountain potatoes into crisp morsels. (FYI this is the best method since if you cook them from a raw state, they will demand and absorb too much oil.)
Having rescued the last of the season’s chard from my garden before the constant freeze set in last week, I blanched it and doused it with last summer’s excellent cherry vinegar and some butternut squash seed oil. Finally, the plate was garnished with some sautéed sage leaves and cherries that I picked and pickled last summer. I promise I’ll let you in on my pantry’s stash of cherry concoctions. They’re amazing and unfailingly cheer up the dark days.