I announced to my staff today with great excitement (in my awful Hindi!) that I was getting a duck. They looked both puzzled and fearful, so I went into my gesticulating mode, flapping my elbows and singing batak-batak around the kitchen. This was met with mild irritation as they assured me they understood what I had said, and continued to look rather apprehensively back at me. Now it was my turn to be a mite irritated (since my excitement level was slowly being brought down by the lack of collective enthusiasm I had hoped for), and I said "I'm roasting a duck for Christmas, isn't that great"! Like a magic button, immediate relief spread across their faces as they chorused that they had thought I was bringing a live duck home, as a pet ! I think the TV serial Friends has had a permanent effect upon the psyche of our nation!
Well back to my duck story! I am thrilled to bits with having located this nice looking 2 kg bird. Of course it was sold to me with all the hype about it being a French (!) duck. So ma cherie I will have to wear a sexy apron and put on my fake french accent whilst stuffing this bird!! Of course now would be the appropriate time to let you into a secret. Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone, but I have never cooked a duck before! Many a person has stewed in their own sauce with my withering looks, but cooking a duck.....no, never ever before.
So I set about looking for a dish to cook my bird in (who looks, I must say, very chic all curled up and demure), only to find I had NO dish large enough for my thirteen inch long French duck! So a new dish has been bought, pronto! Whilst all this other twirling and whirling was happening in the kitchen, I set about trying to defrost my frigid friend. With the foreign guest pirouetting like a ballerina in my microwave, it was time to decide on what marinade to conjure. I must say, my kitchen cupboards were most unhelpful with nothing magically tumbling out as the sign to direct me (which happens in all these films with romance and George Clooney thrown in!). My luck is having good old Jeevan my gardener, saunter past with a hose in hand and not much else to offer!
After flaying about in the spice rack my duck now floats in a shallow baking dish soaking in the soya sauce, ground ginger and green chillies, sugar, garlic, onions and lots of hope. After this spa experience, I will cozy the slumbering soul in a well heated oven and cross my fingers, light some candles to the lord of ducks, and wait to see what happens when the bell goes off!
Check this space duckies for I shall keep you posted on the out come. Place your bets if you may: disaster or triumph but remember, it all rests on the tip of the tongue or a slip between the fork and the plate!
Picture: Courtesy Surendran Nair: Turkey.