Roasted Duck with Carrot & Potato Mash, Chives, Ramps, and Fiddleheads

Nothing like an edible bouquet for Mother’s Day! So the day started out with green juice – and ended with molasses & maple glazed roasted duck, carrot and potato mash with chive blossom duckfat and buttermilk, and sauteed ramps and fiddleheads. From one end of the spectrum to the other. I like a little contrast in my life!

I owe all the duck credit to the website The Hungry Mouse. They have a really great, step-by-step tutorial on how to perfectly roast a duck, including a tasty glaze. Rather than repeat anything here, I’ll save my breath (or fingers typing?) and send you on over there for instructions. Just a heads up – it takes about 4 hours, but is worth it.

I cooked the carrot and potato mash from a recipe I saw in the Edible Communities cookbook. Here’s their recipe:

  • 4 small carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes (really any type of potato would do)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or the duckfat concotion below…yum!)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • sea salt & pepper
In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the carrots and potatoes. Return the water to a boil and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife, 20 to 25 minutes. In a large colander, drain the vegetables. Return them to the pot and add the 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Using a potato masher, mash the carrots and potatoes to the desired consistency; there’s no need to get rid of all the lumps. (You could also use a stick blender if you have one of those.) Add the salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cover the pot to keep mash warm. (Edible)

They serve the duck in this recipe with a chive butter, but I decided to use duckfat instead. This can either be served on the duck, added to the mash, or both if you like indulging! Mushrooms would be a tasty addition, which I had on hand, but didn’t end up using.
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (or duckfat, rendered bacon fat, etc)
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped (I used ramps instead)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • teeny bit of sea salt
It’s that lovely time of year that chive blossoms are available, so I added that for added flavor and presentation.
To make the butter (or whichever fat you are using), stir together the fat, garlic (or ramps), chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; set aside. (This compound can be made up to 2 days ahead, rolled into a log shape in plastic wrap, refrigerated, and sliced as needed).
I quickly sauteed the fiddleheads and ramps in some of the above duckfat, and garnished both the mash and the greens with chive blossoms. The blossoms are really tasty – but powerful – and actually much more flavorful than the green part.

It was quite a process cooking the duck, especially when using such a faulty oven. I’ve noticed ours may not heat as much as it should, so I cooked the duck at 350 for the majority of the time, rather than the recommended 300 on The Hungry Mouse. I fortunately turned it down early enough into the process, but do recommend sticking as close to the duck recipe as you can, to make sure you have the tastiest, juiciest duck evah. It was a delicious, different meal and I think perfectly suited Mother’s Day – happy Mumma’s Day!

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