Friday 25 December
Smoked duck has been a Christmas tradition in our house since way back in 2013, though it is sometimes stymied by our forgetting some essential ingredient, like charcoal.
This time Santa had brought us plenty of charcoal - or actually, Barbara had stocked us up over the summer. So we set up the smoker in the lee of the porch on an overcast 63º day, lit the charcoal chimney on the top grate to protect it from breezes, turned the hot coals out into the smoker, and topped them with dry basil and coriander twigs as well as soaked mesquite chips.
This is how it usually goes, and so it went for about 3 hours. Then we brought the bird inside and up to full temperature with about 15 minutes in the oven.
Served the crisp-skinned duck breasts with the last of our garden carrots, braised with a little candied ginger in the water, and finished with butter.
Oh, and a very nice bottle of 2011 Château Andron Blanquet Saint-Estèphe, the tail end of which we carried up to bed along with dessert: Holt's fresh-made biscotti di Greve, and the tangerines he de-zested to make them.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.