I like food. Food is lovely. Food also costs money, and my loans only go so far (and it appears that requiring knee surgery lost me my part time job in a bookstore, which I am really quite livid about. Three years and coming in for two months between injury and surgery WITH A TORN UP KNEE, and following the direction in the employee handbook was apparently not enough to keep the job. FMLA doesn’t apply, because I am…. was…? too part-time and didn’t work enough hours in the past 12 months), so foodie impulses are hard to realize.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got the urge to cook a duck in the crockpot. Duck is yummy. Duck is ridiculously yummy. Duck is also not the cheapest poultry out there. But it’s so much yummier than a factory raised tasteless chicken. Duck can also be a little hard to find in conventional grocery stores.

My law school is not far from Boston’s Chinatown, and on the way to the T, there is the Chinese grocery store. I often buy veggies there, because they are insanely cheap. I figured that the odds of them having duck were pretty good, even as I was steeling myself to have to buy a duck with head attached. And they did! They had ducks with head, ducks with head and feet, and for a dollar more, a duck with no head and no feet. I decided the dollar was worth it. (I have helped slaughter and butcher chickens and rabbits. It’s one thing to accept that you have to deal with the head of chicken that you… you know what? It’s totally not logical, not at ALL, but I did not want to deal with head and feet. So I didn’t.)

So Sunday I bought the duck, and some potatoes, garlic, and a giant onion bigger than my fist. On Mondays, my first class is at 3 pm, so I assembled the duck in the crockpot before I left for the day.

Here is what I did:

Pull duck of out fridge to discover it’s still frozen solid. Put duck in a water bath in the sink to at least thaw enough to remove the giblets.
Chop potatoes into chunks, put in the bottom of the crockpot.
Chop up onion and the apple you already had.
Peel a small head of garlic
Pull out duck, pry loose the neck. Decide the remaining giblets (not in a plastic pouch) are not worth fishing for.
Shove as much onion, apple, and garlic in the duck as possible.
Put the duck in the crockpot.
Frown when the duck is still frozen enough that it won’t easily mush down to fit in the crockpot.
Twist the legs around so the fit better.
put the remaining apples and onions and garlic around the duck.
Put on lip, and then put a heavy book on top (Con Law is a good bet) to hold the lid down.
Turn on low, go to class.
Come home ten hours later to wonderful smelling apartment, make roasted asparagus, eat dinner of duck, asparagus, and potatoes that have roasted in duck fat.

Later that night, I pulled the rest of the easily gettable meat from the carcass, and put the carcass plus the leg and wing bones in the freezer to make soup later.

Later, by which I mean today. I made the stock Thursday night (take carcass, put in stockpot with a chopped onion, more garlic, bring to a boil, let simmer until bedtime, pull out the bones), and about two hours ago, I put the stock, which has a LOT of meat in it, diced potato, chopped leek, mushrooms and peas (and thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt) back in the crockpot and will have me some duck soup tonight.

So that comes to at least 7 meals (three from the initial roast, four I’m expecting from the soup) from $26 for everything. Not too bad.

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