The Hell Kitchen
May I recommend the Holiday Diet? It involves eating whatever you want for the entire week that includes the holiday in question. I find that it really enhances the festiveness of the occasion, especially when applied to what are traditionally single-day holidays, like Halloween and Comedy Goldmine Day (it is today.) How do you lose weight doing this? Oh, it's not "that kind" of diet. Anyway, most people just ate a lot of food, and still have a lot of food left to eat, so it's the perfect time to check in with SA's cooking forum, Goons with Spoons. In our first course, A Rambling Vagrant makes amazing-looking treats in a not-so-amazing-looking room he calls the Hell Kitchen.
"Located in unimaginably hot Corpus Christi, the fattest, dumbest, most teenaged-pregnant and most diabetic city of the Union, this oven of a converted walk-in-closet features:
It gets up to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the Hell Kitchen when you're baking, and you start to see your sweat dripping into the second ball of dough that you're kneading, and the dough is getting much too salty and wet before you pass out and hit your head on the corner of the fridge door, your head red as a beet and feeling like a pressure cooker. That hot."
- an apparatus for creating fire
- a sink, sort of
- no outlets less than 8 feet away from the actual counter
- something that used to be a new refrigerator
- and, most importantly, no air conditioning
So, this sounds pretty bad. But the SA Forum Goons would soon learn Hell Kitchen was even worse than described! Before we get to their reactions, though, let's watch as A Rambling Vagrant makes The Devil's Eggs (Eggs Benedict with soft pretzel, southwestern duck confit and habanero Hollandaise) followed by a Jamaica-Ginger Granita. His instructions contain specific advice for other culinary experimenters facing Hell Kitchen conditions. Bon appétit!
1) (Important) Acquire a duck.
2) Drain duck and put on tiny counter.
3) Attempt to butcher duck. This is a fantastic tutorial I found when i searched "how to cut up a duck," but eventually I settled on the "come on now just follow the bone-thing and cut that cartilage thing and you know what fuck it I'm just cutting it off" technique after a couple of minutes.
4) Eventually, you should have a couple of legs, two or so breasts, some wings, a carcass, organs and a neck. I roasted the carcass and neck for stock and seared the breasts in the cast iron. Oh, start soaking the liver, organs in milk. I still don't know what to do with those wings. However, the parts we're concerned with are those lovely legs.
But before we do anything with them, we want to start rendering our duck fat. The Dark Lord loves his duck fat, I believe. Get all of the fat, skin, fatty skin and fatty fat that you cut from the duck (not pictured), cut it up into little pieces and put it in your cast iron over low with about a cup or so of hot water. then wait and let your liquid gold render.
You want to cut the fat and skin into much smaller pieces than this. I forgot to and ended up sort of cutting them with a butterknife in the pan. When the little simmer bubbles stop coming up and a few hours have gone by and all your fat is rendered, strain the fat through a cheesecloth into a bowl and refrigerate.
5) Get your cumin seeds toasting. Toast them.
6) Add the cumin seeds, along with fresh cilantro, some garlic and a lot of Kosher Salt (I don't remember how much I used, but fucking Google duck confit recipe if you need to know) in the only Pyrex dish you own. I had to break the duck's legs to make them fit. Chuck this, covered, into the fridge for 24 hours.
7) Take your soaked thighs out of the refrig. Rinse and dry out with paper towels.