On the plus side, it means I have duck for dinner. The Fabulous Man thinks he is one of those people who doesn't like duck. I'm sure he'll realise his mistake soon, but in the meantime I'm on my own. Me, I adore duck. I'll be happy if somebody tells me that for the rest of my life I'm only allowed to have duck (and chocolate). My little brother, a qualified lawyer who is now master coffee roaster for an organic coffee company in South Africa, is the same. We used to have competitions at home to see who could come up with the best duck recipe (he always won, but someday I'll have my revenge).
So, whenever the Fabulous Man is working hard in Brisbane, and it's us girls home alone, I pull out some duck from the freezer. I try different things, but this one is a classic: onions, pancetta, red wine, mushrooms (which I didn't have tonight), duck breast and polenta. I'm sure duck on the bone will taste better, but it's the breasts I have in the freezer, plus they cook much quicker, so that's what I'm working with. To be honest, it's not a real recipe. I don't give exact measurements, as it mostly depends on how much of everything I have on hand. But whatever you put in this dish, it always turns out delicious. The red wine reduces to a beautiful rich sauce, and together with the onions and pancetta is just the perfect background for the duck. The perfect comforting dish to keep me happy until the Fabulous Man comes home.
Quack au Vin (or Duck for a lonely wife)
Serves 1, but easily adaptable for more
Heat some olive oil in a pan until hot, and fry the duck breast until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and keep warm. Fry one chopped onion in the same pan until soft. Add a handful of chopped pancetta, and fry for a couple more minutes. Add some chopped mushrooms, cook until soft. It may be necessary to add more oil. Return the duck to the pan, and add about one to two cups of red wine. Cover the pan, and cook until the wine is reduced and the duck is cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Removed the duck from the wine and let it rest before serving.
Serve with some polenta, or whatever you have in the cupboard.