- The more a muscle is used, the darker it is (more myoglobin). Hence game meat (duck, geese, pheasant), which actually moves quite a bit has more darker meat than the less motile chicken/turkey.
- When serving quail, 1 for an appetizer, 3 for main course.
- Quadrillage (horizontal cross-scoring of the duck breast skin), creates a nice pattern, and allows the skin to render the excess fat when sautéing.
Both dishes today sound and tasted amazing. Duck is quite fatty so it is often served with a sauce/accompaniment that is sweet and/or acid which helps counteract the fat …and thus….duck a l’orange. Today we quartered the duck, (again worrying about not losing that ‘oyster’) but cut supremes (boneless breast fillets) rather than leaving the breast on the bone. The leg/thigh (darker meat) was braised. We scored the breast skin diagonally (quadrillage) and sautéed on low heat to render the fat for three panfulls of fat, and then into the oven.
The sauce was a combination of reduced veal stock, orange liqueur, julienned orange zest, and a gastrique (caramelized sugar and vinegar). Then Chef V threw a curveball at us and told us we needed to serve this with 8 potato cocottes risolé, and we only have 20 mins to do it. This turned out to be good practice however, as that is the exact time we have on the practical to cocotte potatoes. We aiguilletted the breast (sliced), interspersed with orange supremes (orange pieces with no skin). This was our lunch and it was delicious. I drank the whole pot of leftover sauce.
Next we were onto the quail (cute little mini-chickens). We stuffed our quails with a rice pilaf (sweated onions, rice, chicken stock, carrots, mushrooms, zuchinni, fried sausage), held together with toothpicks, basted in butter till brown and in the oven for 10mins. Then the building threw a curve ball. FIRE ALARM! We were initially told it was a drill, but then the firetrucks showed up. It was kinda neat seeing all 200(?) students dressed in white out on Broadway. Anyway, about 20mins later we were back in the kitchen playing catch-up but we got our quail done nevertheless. They were served on a frisée salad (with vinaigrette and bacon lardons), and a reduced brown stock sauce. Delicious! (I need a new word to say delicious!).
We had a brief meeting after class to figure out how to clean the kitchen more efficiently, apparently we’re not the best class at this, so we allocated tasks, etc… hopefully we’ll be better tomorrow.
Oh, and this blog officially passed the 1000 view mark over the weekend. (Must have happened just about when Joe was teaching some of us how to drink late night pickleback shots!)