Now, on to the issue of the consommé. A consommé is nothing more than a soup made from clarified stock. It sounds fancy and daunting, but it is really quite a simple process if you remember some basics about stock making.

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So I’m hoping that my Getting to Know Your Meat series post on the duck has piqued your interest enough to go out and actually pick up a whole bird from your grocery store. Once you’ve got it home, there is the small task of quartering the duck to prepare it for cooking. OK, I know what you are thinking: “Why are we going through the trouble of quartering the duck? It looks just like the chicken I roasted whole last week.” Well, it’s an excellent question, and there are a couple of reasons. First, as you are about to see, it really isn’t much trouble. Second, the dark meat (legs, thighs) and the “white” meat (breasts) take an entirely different amount of time to cook, and separating them from the carcass is the only way that we can cook them both appropriately. Finally, even if you are only interested in cooking the breasts, buying a whole duck will be basically the same price as buying breasts alone that have been removed for you - so why not freeze the wings, legs and thighs for a later preparation, and use the body, neck and giblets to make a wonderful stock?

First, thaw your duck if frozen and remove from the package. Reach into the body cavity and remove the neck and giblets. Set these aside (not in the garbage!) Thoroughly rinse the duck under cold running water and dry with paper towels. Once you have the duck nice and dry, place it on your cutting board. It will look something like this:

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Attention Ask.com User:

You were brought to this site yesterday through a web search at ask.com. The exact query was: “how many pounds of brisket to feed 75.” I sincerely hope that you found Geoff’s “Getting to Know Your Meat” post on brisket helpful - please see his post for specifics. You should require between 1 and 1.5 pounds (per adult) of pre-cooked brisket if serving as an entrée.

Please forward the following information to us at your earliest convenience:

  1. What is the closest airport to this festival of brisket?
  2. How soon do I need to make my travel arrangements?
  3. Do you need me to bring anything?

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread and was chosen by Heather of Sherry Trifle.

I was a little skeptical about this week’s recipe, since I do not really love ginger. I did not use the ginger in syrup, nor did I use any fresh ginger. I intended to use the fresh ginger, but when I cut open my root, it was rotten. :-/ Oh well, I just added an extra teaspoon of ground ginger.

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I found out about Bread Baking Day from Tommi at Brown Interior. I was excited to see such a group because fresh baked bread is one of my favorite things to make and eat. I think this is because it is rare to be able to get bread, even from a bakery, that is as good as bread that you eat straight out of your own oven. This month’s theme is bread with cheese and is being hosted by Temperance at High on the Hog. Great choice Temperance! Bread and cheese is a match made in heaven.

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In this installment of Getting To Know Your Meat (GTKYM) we will be tackling one of my favorite meals to prepare - duck. In the United States, duck is an often a neglected bird for many home cooks who find the task daunting. As I can attest to from experience, cooking a duck is a luxurious alternative to your usual chicken that only requires minimal additional effort and cost.

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