Indeed. So First off, I managed to pick a ton of green beans and kale, then blanch and freeze them while the duck smoked on our very own apple wood; its neck and giblets went in a pot with carrot, celery, shallot and parsley from the garden to make a broth for freezing until needed. The duck legs, breasts, and fat I ordered arrived, locally sourced, which means that tomorrow is confit and prosciutto day- it all gets salted and seasoned in anticipation of two very different yet equally alchemical treatments.
To accompany the luscious, smoky bird, our standard sides, since there was no time for anything fancy: mashed sweet potatoes and kale (some of the big batch I blanched.) Leftover endive mash and a gooey red wine reduction (Marquis Philips is the best for this sort of thing, including poached pears and tart glazes) with 5-spice and honey rounded out the meal. A 1997 Marchesato degli Aleramici Brunello was still kind of a big tannic bitch, but had good fruit and complexity. I’m a big fan of 1999 Brunello right now, and the 2001s are of course wonderful, but 97 is a bit of a sleeper; it needs more time but represents a good value in the face of the Wine Speculator hype surrounding more recent vintages.