“Look we’ve got oysters Rockefeller! Beef Wellington! Napoleons! If we leave this lunch alone, it’ll take over Europe.” – Roger Sterling, “Mad Men” Season 1
Sunday night was a big night in the Flyover House: We roasted a duck AND Season 4 of AMC’s Mad Men premiered.
In anticipation of our favorite show returning for another season, I planned a retro menu even Betty Draper could be proud of. If Betty Draper cooked. Or ate anything other than Melba toast and chardonnay.
We started the evening with an Old Fashioned and the classic appetizer, Devils on Horseback. We used the classic recipe for Old Fashioned’s. You can find one here: “Mad Men” Classic Cocktails. I must say, I think that people drank differently in the 1960’s. The drinks seem fuller, heavier, the flavors more complex, requiring you to slow down, sip, enjoy. I feel more relaxed just writing that. As Roger Sterling would say, our generation drinks for the wrong reasons.
To go with our heady drinks, I made devils on horseback. They’re simply dates wrapped in bacon cooked under the broiler for a couple minutes until hot and crispy. The salty bacon is great with the bourbon.
And for our main event: duck l’orange. The recipe I found was featured in Gourmet magazine in 1948 and reprinted in 2006. The good people at Gourmet even noted that this recipe is not the tired 1960’s cliche, but truly a lovely dish deserving of place on the modern table. You can find the recipe here: duck l’orange.
I am thrilled to report that even my flyover small town grocery store carried frozen duck. Much like turkeys, frozen can work almost as well as fresh thanks to modern processes of flash freezing. This recipe calls for a Long Island or Peking duck. My bird just said “DUCK”.
The bird gets seasoned inside and out with salt, pepper, a little cumin, and coriander. Stuff the duck with onions, oranges, and fresh thyme, parsley, and marjoram. Then into the roasting pan on a bed of onions, carrots, and celery.
It gets roasted for 30 minutes on high (475°) heat, then the temp is lowered and you add white wine, orange juice, and stock to the roasting pan and cook until a thermometer says you’re not going to poison your guests (165° should do it).