Ducksgiving in (hopefully) 10 easy steps

It has been some time since I've entertained in the multi course dinner arena, so what better time to test my skills than with a themed Thanksgiving dinner using an ingredient I've never cooked with. (Quack) Three days before: 1. Salt, pepper, 8 sprigs of thyme, diced shallots and minced garlic 1/2 under and 1/2 over 4 duck legs and thighs skin up covered and in the fridge for 2 days.  In the mean time, assemble grocery list and don't forget anything.  Have a glass of wine. One day before: 2. Preheat oven to 240°, melt 4-5 cups of duck fat in a sauce pan.  Brush seasonings off of duck pieces and pat dry with a paper towel.  Arrange them snug in a casserole dish and pour the duck fat in, be sure to cover the pieces entirely.  Take a sip of wine.  Place the dish in the oven for 2-3 hours, making sure that you have only a slow bubble (reduce or raise temperature if needed).  Have a glass of wine.  When the timer goes off, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Have a glass of wine.  Cover and store in the fridge.  Have a glass of wine and curl up on the couch with a book 3. Make some pumpkin pies and a pecan pie (actually, make some pumpkin pies and since you bought a frozen pecan pie, read the directions to determine when it needs to come out of the freezer).  Have a glass of wine. Turkey Day: 4. Have a glass of wine.  Wash arugula and pat dry.  Julienne carrots, wash off mushrooms and remove stems, slice into happy size chunks. Shred red cabbage into hearty size pieces.  Remove duck prosciutto from fridge and wonder how to slice it.  Cut baguettes diagonally and put them in the oven for toasting purposes, toast another glass of wine. 5. Boil some potatoes until they are squishy, smash 'em up and mix in some heavy cream, duck fat, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 package of cream cheese softened then stir, or get a kid to stir for you.  Don't forget about removing the pecan pie from the freezer.  Take a sip of wine, it's getting a little warm in here.  Take the duck confit out of the fridge, need to get it at room temperature before final rendering. Have a glass of wine. 6. Arrange the baguettes on a serving platter and do something creative with the prosciutto, pipe some black truffle butter is a dish and provide a sip of wine, I mean, butter knife to the arrangement.  Hiccup.  Saucepan time, mix in a bit of walnut oil, white wine vinegar, pinch of salt, spoon of sugar, handful of dried cherries and a bit of dijon mustard.  You'll know when it's done.  Have a sip of wine.  Sliced smoked duck breast into 1/4 inch think pieces and arrange 2-3 slices per plate.  Arrange arugula on the plates, sprinkle with finely ground walnuts, drizzle with the stuff you just, hiccup, made and then some good quality Parmesan cheese.  Have a sip of wine and serve. 7. Boil gnocchi, in a skillet, throw in some duck fat, sage and 1/2 cup of pumpkin pie filling.  Once the gnocchi are done, add them to the mix and stir until the gnocchi have a slight brownish color to them.  Serve in a shallow bowl, pipe some pumpkin pie filling and a sprig of parsley.  Time for a sip of wine and serve. 8. Take the smashed taters and, using an ice cream scoop, arrange mounds on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Have a sip of wine. In a saute pan, more duck fat and the carrots.  Cook until soft, but still crunchy and then add cabbage and mushrooms.  Plate and drizzle with a reduced balsamic sauce.  Remove pieces of duck from confit, place the mashed potato mounds in the over for 10 minutes.  Brown the duck pieces in a saute pan and then place in an over proof dish, these guys go in for about 15 minutes.  Have a sip, hiccup, of wine. 9. If the kids haven't touched anything yet, make some Mac 'n' Cheese.  Have a glass of wine as you plate the mashed potato mounds and the duck, garnish with something green and serve with wine.  Put the pecan pie in the oven if needed. 10. Celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with family and a glass of wine.  Hopefully, everything turned out OK.  Eat pie, then have another glass of hiccup, wine, hiccup.  Hire someone to clean up the mess tomorrow. Hiccup!  

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