Yeah, this one I needed to look up. What the heck? I know what the expression Lame Duck means today, especially in political circles, but what’s the history behind a Lame Duck?
Turns out, there are things so silly we might not want to know. The United States actually passed an Amendment known as The Lame Duck Amendment. This amendment took effect in 1935 with the 20th Amendment. The amendment changed the date that a newly elected president took office from March 4th to January 20th. It shortened the Lame Duck Session of Congress from 13 months to just 2 months.
Silly me, I always thought a Lame Duck Session was when nothing much got accomplished because our elected officials were on their way out. Turns out, that’s only partially correct. During a Lame Duck Session, members of Congress and the outgoing administration are no longer accountable to their constituents since they will soon be out of office. While it is considered a time of peaceful transition of powers, Lame Duck Congress have declared war and impeached a President. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Will Rogers once said “An awful lot of people are confused as to just what is meant by a Lame Duck Congress. It’s like where some fellows worked for you, and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let ‘em out, but after you fired ‘em, you let ‘em stay long enough so they could burn your house down”. Can you imagine, without the changes in the Lame Duck Amendment, that fire could burn for 13 months! Politics is crazy stuff!
It’s only fitting on this, National Lame Duck Day, that I share with you a delicious Duck Recipe.
Crisp Duck Breast with Blackberry Sauce
4 small Duck Breasts
Kosher Salt to taste
6 oz Blackberries
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoons Cognac
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
Additional Blackberries for garnish, if desired
Pat the duck breasts dry. Lightly score the skin with a sharp knife. You wan to break the skin without cutting the flesh below. Sprinkle breasts with a pinch or two of salt on both sides. Set aside.
Warm a large, heavy-based skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts skin-side down and cook for about 8 minutes. The skin should be crisp and the color of the meat has changed, indicating that is is cooked. Turn breast skin-side up, continue to cook another 6 to 8 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the breast..
Once the breasts have started to cook, prepare the Blackberry Sauce. In a small saucepan over medium to medium-low heat, cook blackberries with the stock, vinegar, cognac and brown sugar. Bring the pan to a simmer. Continue to simmer as the duck cooks, breaking up the blackberries. Simmer until reduced by half.
Once the duck is cooked to desired doneness, remove from the skillet to a serving plate. Tent to keep warm and let rest for several minutes. Slice the breasts, fan out on the platter. Ladle the sauce over the meat. Garnish with additional whole blackberries if desired.