What’s for Dinner?

Duck FatOne would think, given its rather remote location, that Terlingua would be something of a food desert, but you would be surprised. Cottonwood, our local grocery/general store does an excellent job of meeting the widely varied culinary needs of our rather diverse little community, but there are other times, like today, when something as commonplace as a boneless skinless chicken breast simply can’t be had until the delivery truck arrives tomorrow. Actually, there was no chicken to be had. Some nice frozen shrimp and fresh veggies were in stock, however, so tonight, instead of grilled chicken, I’ll have shrimp and veggie stir fry in a spicy peanut sauce. Demand occasionally exceeds supply of certain items and flexibility is the name of the game. On the other hand, we are usually able to purchase items that might be considered specialty or gourmet items with relative ease. Need some nori? Got it. Wonton wrappers? Yep, got those, too. Organic produce and dairy? No problem. We’re actually somewhat spoiled – especially considering where we live. Today, however, while browsing for an alternative to the not to be had chicken, I stumbled across a product that I really was surprised to find. Duck fat is not something one sees on the ingredient list for many dishes in the good old USA, but there it was on the shelf – right next to the instant Channa Masala. Duck fat. That sinfully rich and silky fat that produces such wonderfully crispy golden skin on roast chicken, a remarkably flaky pie crust, and the best french fries I’ve ever tasted. No wonder it’s a staple in French cuisine. Suddenly, I’m seeing roast chicken, skin lovingly massaged with duck fat, in my near future. Well, maybe when I can actually buy a chicken, that is.

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