Ask Chef Boy Ari
Goodnight, and Good Duck
Q: Hey Chef Boy,
Have you ever smoked a whole duck? What kind of brine would you soak it in? How long should one smoke a full bird? Is there any way to avoid an overly dry duck?
A: Dear Quack,
Smoking meat is one of the culinary areas in which, contrary to what you may have read before, I like to use a recipe. The successful outcome of a smoking session depends on soaking the meat in a brine with the right level of salt.
For two wild ducks, mix 2 quarts of filtered water, 3/4 cup pickling salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon pickling spice in a big ceramic or glass bowl. Add the birds and put a plate on top to submerge them. If the ducks are big, double the recipe for the brine. Let the birds soak for eight hours or overnight in the fridge. Then remove them from the brine, pat dry, and then air-dry for half an hour.
It's Just Grape Juice
Valentine Wine ’n’ Dine
Celebrate love or just drown your sorrows
Ah, it's almost Valentine’s Day, an especially meaningful time for me—a time to eat and drink to excess while wallowing in self-pity. If you're anything like me (single) then the overwhelming pressure to find a valentine can make you depressed.
Sushi and Sake
There are rules to this game
The concept of all-you-can-eat sushi and sake seemed both really good and tragically misguided all at the same time. This was my thought upon preparation to dine at Sushi and Sake in Nob Hill. I, like many others who frequent the area, had originally assumed that A.Y.C.E. sushi meant all you can drink sake, which the restaurant doesn’t offer. The misconception began with the sign out front that states the name of the restaurant, with the A.Y.C.E. information and prices underneath, which upon first glance (without regard for sentence structure) appears to advertise all the booze you can swallow along with raw fish, rice and seaweed.
Nursing It Back
Little Sir Dan, sat with his hands, aloft over keyboard with a frown. Along came his boss, and with a crumpled note he did toss, asking “Hey, we doing a Chowtown?!”