Fall dinner recipes that take you from the mundane to the magnificent are rare. This is because recipes were once accidents, hunches, or other recipes. “I bet that thing that smells good would go with this thing that smells good…or, I bet my mother’s recipe would go better with this thing I found at the grocery store.” While I can’t offer you the solace that comes with the discovery of something truly unique, I’ve got some recipes for ya.
Chicken Potpie (Part 1)
We’re trying interesting things, so you’re going to make your own pie crust. While you’re at it, make a bottom pie crust. It’ll increase the difficulty. A pie-crust recipe is here. If it sticks and gets ruined, just toss the mistake in someone’s face. You’ll feel much better. It even has its own verb: pieing.
Butter comes out of the fridge cold, so be mindful of letting it relax a little—or just chop it up a bit and places it in different sections of the mixing bowl. Flakey crusts need to have nonpureéed ingredients.
Chicken Potpie (Part 2)
Something a lot of westerners don’t use (and I can never figure out why) is curry. Curry is a godsend when it comes to chicken. You could add curry to water and drink it, and it would be delicious (which I do).
Take some peppers and toss them in the mix. Add something that half of your family can’t eat without getting heartburn. Make an attempt at this new recipe and you’ll be golden. Golden crust, that is.
Fire Roasted Duck With Pears (Part 1)
You’re going to need a duck for this recipe to work. If your local grocer doesn’t have it, go to the butcher. The butcher is the step after abattoir. If your butcher doesn’t have any, check to see if there are any mom-and-pop abattoirs in the rural area closest to you.
You’ve got your duck. Now you’re going to disembowel it (if it isn’t already). This YouTube video is a good guide on gutting and dressing a duck. You’ll want to watch out for bacteria from the digestive tract. This chicken-gutting guide suggests cutting around the vent.
Fire Roasted Duck With Pears (Part 2)
Duck meat is darker than chicken and turkey meat (anything that flies-flies has darker meat). How you choose to roast your duck is up to you: fire, coals, or oven. It’s not every day that you eat duck, so build a campfire. All Fall recipes should require a campfire. We want that Maillard reaction to happen. You really just want those piping hot embers.
Clean the duck with some cold water, inside and out. Put a dry rub of salt and pepper on the outside. You can add a curry dry rub if you want. Curry tastes better. This recipe and this recipe both call for onions (in addition to pears). These recipes also call for an oven and a dish.
You’re going to use cooking twine to sew it up. Carmelize everything (pears) prior to adding it to your duck. Stuff the duck. Garlic may be a good addition if you’ve decided against the curry. Sew it up. Wrap it in tin foil, and toss it in the coals. Temp it every so often. Voila. There’s more to it—but voila.
Autumn is the best time of the year to try something risky, inventive, and most of all—interesting.