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Let's talk duck this Thanksgiving!

"Do you have anything new to say about Thanksgiving dinner?" I asked Nancy Leson.

"No, I don't," she admitted.  Me neither,  so I suggested we talk turkey about our favorite waterfowl instead.  

My favorite duck dishes are all Chinese.  I love the roast duck at Tacoma's Tho Tuong BBQ on 38th Street.  And, as you can see from the picture above, the 5-spice pressed duck at Bellevue's Peony would be hard to resist. 

Credit Stein / KNKX
The wor shu opp I made with boned chicken thighs.

One of my all time favorites is the chop suey joint standby Wor Shu Opp, a steamed, boned, pressed and deep fried version served over iceberg lettuce and topped with a brown sauce and slivered almond.  I recently made my own version using chicken thighs instead of duck.  After marinating in soy, rice wine, 5-spice and ginger for a few hours, the finished product was indistinguishable from duck.  At least to my taste.

Nancy's nuts about duck confit, a method of preserving duck  thighs, drumsticks and sometimes wings by salting, cooking and then encasing them in the duck's own rendered fat.  Next, you bake the whole works in a slow oven until the meat is easily pulled from the bone.  After that, you can cool it and keep in the fridge. Nance says canned confit will keep for years.

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Store bought duck confit

Much as I love duck, I've never had confit.  Leson insists I try it. "Get your hands on some confit-ified duck, sit there by yourself with a knife and fork when no one's looking and just have at it."

I told her, "If no one's looking I'm not bothering with a knife and fork."

Full disclosure: Nance and I are still both having turkey for TG.

"Singing songs... is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck.  And I love roast duck." 
– Billie Holiday

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.