MAPLE LEAF FARMS!
Yesterday, we had a Thanksgiving meal at home, with our children, which is the only time across thanksgiving that we will be cooking for ourselves as we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and to friends houses and so one family meal before that is nice and necessary.
This year, I wanted to go in a different direction and choose DUCK instead of a traditional turkey as I find turkey gets boring and bland far too quickly, yet duck is far more flavorful and presents similarly to the dark meat on a turkey and so the whole family were happy to try it, too!
I stuffed the duck, which I received from Maple Leaf Farms, with a selection of carrots, nectarines, sweet potatoes and mango, along with some salt, pepper and mixed herbs on the top, for flavor.
I sealed the opening of the duck and placed it on a roasting pan and placed straight in the oven. I like to put it flush to the pan but some people suggest to put it on a wire rack or on rolled up balls of tin-foil (aluminum foil) and keep the duck off the bottom of the pan, but I like to let the oil sit around the duck, which can also be useful when roasting up potatoes if you'd like to make those to go with the meal.
For our meal, on Sunday, I made mashed potatoes instead of my usual roasted ones, sweet potatoes, corn and used the stuffing from the duck as a sauce along with cranberry sauce to the side if anybody fancied that, which they did!
I roasted the stuffed duck for a couple of hours and it came out golden brown with a deliciously sweet smell, which taunted us all while it sat and rested once out of the oven!
I served up food for 6 people and there was still enough leftover duck for an all-in-one crock pot leftover meal consisting of duck, potatoes, corn, a carton of cheesy herb sauce and extra veg and stock. I love to throw all the leftovers in a crock this way to make a nice chowder style meal, which you can eat with toasted bread or a side of rice or on its own!
But I digress!
I absolutely adore duck and I think it is one of the more under-utilised foods, which can bring flavor and diversity to any meal! I have used it in the past in stir fry, casserole, sandwiches and more and it makes perfect sense to use it for Thanksgiving! No sitting around for 7 hours cooking a giant turkey that you'll have to suffer for a week! No slip-sliding around the kitchen trying to fit a giant turkey in the oven and no fuss. The meat tastes great and the skin can be crisp just in the way you would find on a well roasted chicken or turkey. The meat isn't dry when cooked correctly and you can pair it with just about anything, which is why your guests at Thanksgiving are going to LOVE it!
If you are the kind of family who really doesn't like a big meal over the holidays, then Maple Leaf Farms has you covered there, too! They have plenty of duck appetizers for you to choose from, with delicious offerings like duck quesadillas with cheese, duck wing drummettes and more, which you can buy online without having to leave the house, visit a store or do any back-breaking antics!!
I urge you to check out Maple Leaf Farms for your Thanksgiving or Holiday meal get-togethers this season - heck, turn up with some duck for a pot luck and you'll be the talk of the meal! You just can't go wrong and it tastes GREAT!
You can find Maple Leaf Farms on their Website, Facebook and Twitter for more information and to pick some up, today!!
Let me know what you think of duck, if you've had it before, and give it some thought serving it up more often! I know I will be!