I found a partially cooked duck breast from an earlier meal in the back of the fridge tonight while figuring out what to make for dinner. Problem solved. Milo helped me season and oil the fingerling potatoes- with lots of whole garlic cloves thrown in- prior to roasting them in the oven. I sliced and sautéed the duck in a bit of duck fat to brown it, then tossed in shredded kale and daikon to use up the fat. We opened another jar of the peach-habañero chutney from early fall and the plate was complete.
As perfect a match as the duck and chutney are, and as lovely an accompaniment as rosemary potatoes are to almost anything, the kale and daikon were the dark horse of this meal. Enriched with a little fat, but still al dente and bright, gorgeous green, and with the tangy, earthy crunch of radish, they tied together everything else and had the profound sweetness that only perfectly fresh greens in season can produce. Some may like their greens wilted into porky oblivion, but I’ll take mine actually green every time. Comfort food should also have nutrients left in it; it is food, after all.
For the wine, I popped a 2000 Dead Arm, since I’m in the process of trying to figure out which few of my Australian purchases of 3-4 years back not to sell; I really don’t dig the movie-candy and cream cheese frosting flavors I get from so much of them these days. After careful tasting, though, the Dead Arm stays on the keeper list. It’s just too good, funky, and unique to part with. A dark, sweet nose and quick fruit gives way to some fascinatingly stubborn structure with a real ass on it. Also, the wife loves it, which is a not insignificant part of this calculus. You can have my Dead Arm when you pry it from my cold, dead shoulder.