2 things in the oven coming out right.... possible?
So. Thanks to my helpful CH friends, the recipe for the impossibly crispy Thanksgiving duckling has been chosen: the five hour roasting one.
Now the side dish is an issue. I was hoping to make my delish potato gratin, but shy away from making two things in the oven, because I am afraid one of them (or even worse, both) won't come out right. Superstition? Idiocy? I don't know. You tell me ;-)
Usually, the potatoes take about an hour at 350˚F, so I suppose I could put the gratin in the oven for the last hour of the duck.... but what if it screws up the duck's crispiness? Or the duck screws up the gratin's cheesy crispiness? Do I put the gratin above or below the duck?
Should I just give up and do a side on the stove top? Mashed potatoes instead? (snore). I'd make a mushroom risotto, but it's just the two of us and it seems a bit heavy / too much for just two people ---------- help.
One of the great reasons I love potato gratin is that it is such a forgiving dish. Even Jacques Pepin agrees you can make the gratin ahead of time and reheat a few minutes before serving or while the ducks rest. The concern I would have is that duck is such a delicious, rich tasting meat and potato gratin made with Gruyere or other rich cheese may be too over the top as a side dish.
My recommendation would be a wild and white rice pilaf combination that also can be made ahead and reheated or made stove top while the duck is roasting. Don't have a specific reicpe, but would start with browning some onions, add the wild rice (which takes much longer to cook than white rice), add s&p, add some chicken stock (usually 2 to 1 ratio), cook 20 minutes, add your white rice, more chicken stock, reseason. About 5-10 minutes before it's done, you can add some of the optional ingredients - fresh chopped parsley or other herbs, chopped sauteed mushrooms, sauteed pine nuts or other nuts. Good Luck!
re: Diane in Bexley
Hey, thanks y'all for the comments & suggestions. I have decided against the gratin which indeed is quite rich -- I usually make it with a gouda & emmental mix, but I haven't found any emmental around here, so recently substituted white cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, and parmesan.... nice!
But I'll take you up on the wild & white rice pilaf. I had that in mind as an alternative, and will now make a concoction with sliced shiitake and shallots. Perhaps some pine nuts. And I bought black truffle butter to top it off... (ok, I am positively drooling now).
One fine day, however, I will give the two-dishes-in-one-oven a shot. You certainly have given me the confidence. And for that, I thank you :-D
happy t-day everyone!
Let me start by saying the only duck I ever cooked flamed into curry ginger ashes on the BBQ, so what do I know?!? BUT, I have cooked many chickens and turkeys over the years alongside other dishes (like a scalloped potato dish and roasted veggies) with no harm to either.
Now I would caution you against meringues and braised onions, for example, but i don't think that flavour transfer is going to be an issue here. In my understanding of food chemistry, the moisture created by your gratin dish cooking will only assist in the crisping of your duck skin.
Just don't go opening the door too often as the necessary atmosphere and temperature are impacted by each opening. Oh, and maybe add 10% to cooking times.