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    美食杂志 Cook's Illustrated 2019.11


    内容提示: 2 Quick Tips Quick and easy ways to perform everyday tasks, from freezing pie dough to cutting butternut squash. COMPILED BY ANNIE PETITO 4 Why (and How to) Roast Duck Rich and dark inside and out, duck is—as Julia Child once said—“a bird of a different feather entirely.” That’s also true when it comes to cooking it properly. BY LAN LAM 6 Spiral-Sliced Ham Done Right Our ham is moist and juicy—and every bite benefits from the flavors of the glaze. BY STEVE DUNN 7 Roasted Fingerling Potato...

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    2 Quick Tips Quick and easy ways to perform everyday tasks, from freezing pie dough to cutting butternut squash. COMPILED BY ANNIE PETITO 4 Why (and How to) Roast Duck Rich and dark inside and out, duck is—as Julia Child once said—“a bird of a different feather entirely.” That’s also true when it comes to cooking it properly. BY LAN LAM 6 Spiral-Sliced Ham Done Right Our ham is moist and juicy—and every bite benefits from the flavors of the glaze. BY STEVE DUNN 7 Roasted Fingerling Potatoes These spuds come in assorted shapes and sizes. How do you cook them evenly? BY ANNIE PETITO 8 Classic Bubbly Cocktails Whether you want to splurge or save, here’s how to make cocktails that sparkle. BY LAN LAM WITH LAWMAN JOHNSON 10 The Most Impressive Baked Pasta A triple-decker composition of tubular pasta, spiced meat sauce, and lush béchamel, Greek pastitsio is king among casseroles—and often a royal pain. BY ANDREW JANJIGIAN 12 Silky, Elegant—and from a Can Soup made with canned beans is convenient and satisfying. But can it be sophisticated, too? Surprisingly, yes. BY ANNIE PETITO 14 The World’s Cutest Cookie These Lilliputian Italian hazelnut-chocolate sandwich cookies are utterly charming—but only if they’re perfect. Our approach makes it easy to get them just right. BY STEVE DUNN 16 No-Fuss Party Appetizers Don’t shortcut the cocktail hour just because you’re preparing an elaborate meal. These easy bites will impress and still allow you to enjoy the party. BY ELIZABETH BOMZE 18 Why You Should Make Garlic Confit Silky, nutty-tasting garlic confit is a faster stovetop alternative to oven-roasted heads—without any of their mess or waste. And it yields a valuable byproduct. BY ANNIE PETITO 20 Swiss Chard and Kale Gratin For a new holiday side, we gussy up greens with a touch of cream and a crisp topping. BY ANDREW JANJIGIAN 21 Yule Log Revival A fluffy, tender cake that rolls effortlessly around a plush, stay-put filling, and most of the work can be completed days in advance? It’s a Christmas miracle. BY ANDREA GEARY24 Choosing a Cookware Set Our advice has always been to buy the best individual pans. A few innovative sets compelled us to take another look. BY LISA McMANUS 26 Finding the Best Sushi Rice We tasted eight versions of this versatile staple in search of a product that balances fluffiness with chewiness and a hint of stickiness. BY LAUREN SAVOIE 28 Ingredient Notes BY HANNAH CROWLEY, STEVE DUNN, ANDREW JANJIGIAN, LAN LAM & ANNIE PETITO 30 Kitchen Notes BY STEVE DUNN, ANDREW JANJIGIAN, LAN LAM & ANNIE PETITO 32 Equipment Corner BY MIYE BROMBERG, RIDDLEY GEMPERLEIN-SCHIRM & KATE SHANNONAmerica’s Test Kitchen, a real test kitchen located in Boston, is the home of more than 60 test cooks and editors. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand exactly how and why they work and eventually arrive at the very best version. We also test kitchen equipment and taste supermarket ingredients in search of products that of f er the best value and fl avor. You can watch us work by tuning in to America’s Test Kitchen (AmericasTestKitchen.com) and Cook’s Country (CooksCountry.com) on public television and listen to our weekly segments on The Splendid Table on public radio. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.N OV EM B E R & D EC EM B E R 2019PAGE 21PAGE 10PAGE 4 PAGE 12PAGE 8 PAGE 20Join Our Community of Recipe TestersOur recipe testers provide valuable feedback on recipes under development by ensuring that they are foolproof in home kitchens. Help Cook’s Illustrated investigate the how and why behind successful recipes from your home kitchen. Sign up at AmericasTestKitchen.com/recipe_testing. ILLUSTRATION: JOHN BURGOYNEn ov e m b e r & d e c e m b e r 20191LE TTER FROM THE EDI TORF O R IN Q UI R IE S, O RD ERS, OR M OR E I N FOR MATI ONM y dad’s not much of a music lover. He doesn’t have a beloved album collection or a list of favorite sing-ers and, to the dismay of all pas-sengers, prefers to drive in silence. But there’s one day of the year when all that changes: Christmas Eve. When my sister and I were little, he started a tradition: After Christmas Eve dinner, he’d pop us both in the back seat of his Pontiac, crank up Elvis’ Christmas Album, and drive us from neighborhood to neigh-borhood to look at Christmas lights. As Elvis crooned and we cruised down winding country roads, around cul-de-sacs, and by the town common, we’d all give commentary on the quality and quantity of decorations (I always marveled at the houses that went for all blue lights). Eventually the serpentine roads and my dad’s enthusiastic right foot would get the better of me and I’d feel carsick. Time to head home? Certainly not. My dad would open the windows and sunroof to allow fresh air in and then blast the heat to keep us all just left of hypother-mia. On those nights everything was blue—“Blue Christmas,” blue lights, blue lips.Popular religious and cultural traditions tend to get all the attention around the holidays. But it’s the small, idiosyncratic family rituals—the blue Christmas Eve Pontiac cruises—that really stick with us. I think that’s also true for the food we choose for our holiday tables. Ever since I started cook-ing in earnest, I’ve insisted on experimenting with dishes around the holidays—sometimes successfully, sometimes not. In fact, the act of adding something different to our Christmas dinner spread has become a tradition in itself. I’ll be (success-fully) adding a lot of new dishes to the menu this year, all thanks to the issue you are now reading. To kick off the meal, I’m mak-ing a Goat Cheese Log with Hazelnut-Nigella Dukkah (page 16) and Black Olive Tapenade (page 17) from Elizabeth Bomze’s guide to top-notch no-fuss party appetiz-ers. I might need to add savory Garlic and Parmesan Cheese Coins (page 19)—the perfect marriage of cheese and crackers—to the appetizer spread because I can’t stop making Annie Petito’s quick, silky Garlic Confit (page 18). Instead of turkey, I’ll be following Lan Lam’s advice and innovative recipe for roasting two rich, dark, succulent ducks (page 5)—a move sure to please my family of dark meat lovers. But if the ducks don’t steal the show, I know what will: Andrea Geary’s easy-to-roll, stunning Caramel-Espresso Yule Log (page 23), complete with a chocolate-pistachio for-est floor crumble and meringue bracket mushrooms for the most realistic (and delicious) effect. I might even consider something new for Christmas Eve din-ner, but whatever I decide to cook, it’ll need to be quick—everyone just wants to get in the car, drop the windows, and turn up the King.CRUISE NIGHTCOOK’S ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINECook’s Illustrated magazine (ISSN 1068-2821), number 161, is published bimonthly by America’s Test Kitchen Limited Partnership, 21 Drydock Avenue, Suite 210E, Boston, MA 02210. Copyright 2019 America’s Test Kitchen Limited Partnership. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA, and additional mailing of f i ces, USPS #012487. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40020778. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to P.O. Box 875, Station A, Windsor, ON N9A 6P2. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Cook’s Illustrated , P.O. Box 6018, Harlan, IA 51593-1518. For subscription and gift subscription orders, subscription inquiries, or change of address notices, visit AmericasTestKitchen.com/support, call 800-526-8442 in the U.S. or 515-237-3663 from outside the U.S., or write to us at Cook’s Illustrated , P.O. Box 6018, Harlan, IA 51593-1518.EDITORIAL OFFICE 21 Drydock Avenue, Suite 210E, Boston, MA 02210; 617-232-1000; fax: 617-232-1572. For subscription inquiries, visit AmericasTestKitchen.com/support or call 800-526-8442.CooksIllustrated.comAt CooksIllustrated.com, you can order books and subscriptions, sign up for our free e-newsletter, or renew your magazine subscription. Join the website and gain access to 26 years of Cook’s Illustrated recipes, equipment tests, and ingredient tastings, as well as companion videos for every recipe in this issue.COOKBOOKSWe sell more than 50 cookbooks containing recipes all developed in our test kitchen, including The Side Dish Bible and How to Roast Everything . To order, visit our bookstore at CooksIllustrated.com/bookstore. E DITOR I AL STAF FChief Executive Officer David NussbaumChief Creative Officer Jack BishopEditor in Chief Dan SouzaEditorial Director Amanda AgeeDeputy Editor Rebecca HaysExecutive Managing Editor Todd MeierExecutive Food Editor Keith DresserManaging Editor Elizabeth BomzeDeputy Food Editor Andrea GearySenior Editors Andrew Janjigian, Lan LamSenior Content Editor Kristina DeMicheleAssociate Editors Steve Dunn, Annie PetitoPhoto Team/Special Events Manager Tim McQuinnAssistant Test Cooks, Photo Team Sarah Ewald, Hannah Fenton, Jacqueline Gochenouer, Eric HaesslerCopy Editors Christine Campbell, April Poole, Rachel SchowalterSenior Science Research Editor Paul AdamsExecutive Editors, Tastings & Testings Hannah Crowley, Lisa McManusSenior Editors, Tastings & Testings Lauren Savoie, Kate ShannonAssociate Editor, Tastings & Testings Miye BrombergAssistant Editors, Tastings & Testings Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Carolyn Grillo, Emily PharesCreative Director John TorresPhotography Director Julie CoteArt Director Jay LaymanAssociate Art Director Maggie EdgarSenior Staff Photographers Steve Klise, Daniel J. van AckereStaff Photographer Kevin WhitePhotography Producer Meredith MulcahySenior Director, Creative Operations Alice CarpenterSenior Editor, Special Projects Christie MorrisonSenior Manager, Publishing Operations Taylor ArgenzioImaging Manager Lauren RobbinsProduction & Imaging Specialists Tricia Neumyer, Dennis Noble, Amanda YongDeputy Editor, Editorial Operations Megan GinsbergEditorial Assistants, Editorial Operations Tess Berger, Sara ZatopekTest Kitchen Director Erin McMurrerAssistant Test Kitchen Director Alexxa BensonTest Kitchen Manager Meridith LippardTest Kitchen Facilities Manager Kayce VanpeltSenior Kitchen Assistant Receiver Heather TolmieKitchen Assistants Gladis Campos, Blanca Castanza, Amarilys Merced, Michelle SomozaB USI NE SS STA FFChief Financial Officer Jackie McCauley FordSenior Manager, Customer Support Tim QuinnCustomer Support Specialist Mitchell AxelsonEvent Coordinator Michaela Hughes Chief Digital Officer Fran MiddletonVP, Marketing Natalie VinardDirector, Audience Acquisition & Partnerships Evan SteinerDirector, Social Media Marketing Kathryn PrzybylaSocial Media Coordinators Charlotte Errity, Sarah Sandler, Norma TentoriChief Revenue Officer Sara DomvilleDirector, Public Relations & Communications Brian FranklinPublic Relations Coordinator Madeleine CohenSenior VP, Human Resources & Organizational Development Colleen ZelinaHuman Resources Manager Jason LynottCirculation Services ProCircCover Art Robert PappPRINTED IN THE USADAN SOUZAEditor in Chief cook’s i llust rat e d 2ILLUSTRATION: JOHN BURGOYNEReusing Parchment PaperAfter using parchment paper to bake a batch of cookies or biscuits, Sheryl Ward of West Bend, Wis., finds that there’s still plenty of life left in the parchment. She folds it up, puts it in a zipper-lock bag, and stores it in the freezer until she is ready to use it again. This keeps any oil residue on the paper from going rancid.SEND US YOUR TIPS We will provide a complimentary one-year subscription for each tip we print. Send your tip, name, address, and telephone number to Quick Tips, Cook’s Illustrated, 21 Drydock Avenue, Suite 210E, Boston, MA 02210, or to QuickTips@AmericasTestKitchen.com.j COMPILED BY ANNIE PETITO kQUICK TIPSUse a Wire Rack for Neater SlicingBrian Arthmire of Worthington, Ohio, has found that a wire cooling rack makes it easy to evenly slice raw steak for stir-fries. He lightly presses the top of the rack into the meat and uses the indentations, which are spaced ½ inch apart, as a helpful guide.Reusable Cover for Cooked SteaksInstead of wasting a sheet of alumi-num foil to tent steaks as they rest after cooking, John Sturtz of Seoul, South Korea, uses a disposable aluminum pan. Like foil, the pan sits gently on top of the meat to help keep it warm, but it’s reusable and easy to clean.Truss Poultry with FoilWhen Alicia Woods of Vancouver, British Columbia, needed to truss a chicken but had no kitchen twine on hand, she came up with a great stand-in: aluminum foil. She twisted the foil into a rope that she then used to tie the bird’s legs together for more even cooking.Dry Bakeware in the OvenAfter completing a baking project, Sadie Stehlik of Marlborough, N.H., places washed baking sheets, wire racks, loaf pans, and muffin tins upside down in her still-warm oven to dry, saving space in her dish rack. To remind herself that the oven is occupied before turning it on again, she places a note on its door.Extra Mixing Bowls for Faster BakingPatten Layman of Weymouth, Mass., purchased extra bowls for his stand mixer and workbowls for his food processor so that he doesn’t have to stop to wash dirtied vessels during holiday baking sprees. The extra equipment allows him to whip up multiple batches of baked goods in less time. n ovem be r & de c e mb e r 2019 3Alternative Cake CoverIf you don’t own a cake cover, try this alternative from Cheryl Herbert of Plainfield, N.J.: Simply invert the outer bowl of a salad spinner and set it over the cake.Eliminating Cracks in Frozen Pie DoughTo get a leg up on holiday baking, Rachel Della Valle of Durham, N.C., likes to make pie dough in advance and freeze it. Since freezing pie dough in a rolled-out round takes up valuable freezer space, she rolls up the round. But when she unrolls the thawed dough, it often cracks. Her fix: After rolling out the dough on a piece of parchment paper, she folds the edge of the parchment closest to her to cover the edge of the dough, places a chopstick on the fold, and rolls the dough around the chop-stick. She then wraps the dough roll tightly in plastic wrap and freezes it. The chopstick supports the roll as it freezes and thaws to prevent any cracks.Simple Homemade Gift BagsCookie swaps and small gifts of baked goods are beloved holiday traditions, but buying all those containers can get expensive. Nancy Merritt of Severna Park, Md., came up with this alternative: fashioning “baskets” out of brown paper lunch bags. She simply traces a handle onto the bag and then cuts it out. A few staples, some ribbon, and a personalized gift tag complete the rustic but charming package. Indoor Uses for Grill TongsCarrie Maloney of Evanston, Ill., has found that her long (16-inch) grill tongs aren’t just for grilling. They’re handy indoors, too: She uses them to keep her hands and forearms clear of splatter while browning batches of meat, to grab lightweight pantry items such as cereal boxes off high shelves, and to reach deep into the oven to rotate a pizza or grab items such as foil-wrapped beets.An Easier Way to Cut Hard Squash To halve a large winter squash, Laura Scheibel of Lee, N.H., runs a wide citrus zester/channel knife lengthwise along the tough skin. This creates a groove in which she can easily place her knife before applying pressure to split the squash. cook’s i llust rat e d4To all the dark meat lovers out there: You’ve been roasting the wrong bird. All due respect to succulent chicken and turkey leg quarters, but they make up only a fraction of the whole bird, which is why you should consider roasting duck. It’s all dark meat, since both the breast and leg portions are well-exercised muscles with ample fat, and it’s imbued with a sultry, bass-note richness that chicken and turkey just don’t have. The duck’s breast is also relatively flat, which enables its skin to brown remarkably evenly, and it’s versatile for entertaining: Pair one bird with a bright sauce and you’ve got an intimate dinner party showpiece. Roast two—doable in one pan—and you can feed a crowd.Here’s the catch: The qualities that make duck special to eat also make it a challenge to cook well. But I’ve got an approachable method all figured out. Allow me to explain.What Makes Duck Different Think of duck as the “red meat” of poultry. Its dark crimson color and rich, assertive flavor—even in the breast meat—come from the myoglobin in its abundant red muscle fibers, which are necessary for endurance activities such as flying. (Turkeys and chickens have fewer muscle fibers because they perform only quick bursts of flight.) Duck is also much fattier than other poultry: Its edible portion (meat and skin) contains about 28 percent fat, while the edible portion of a chicken contains between 2.5 and 8 percent fat. Most of that fat builds up as a thick layer of subcutaneous padding that adds to the bird’s insulation and buoyancy in the water. Finally, duck breasts are thinner, flatter, and blockier than other poultry breasts, and their wings are longer. The breed you’re most likely to find in supermar-kets, Pekin, weighs a pound or so more than an average chicken. The Importance of Proper Prep Because duck is so fatty, it’s important not only to trim it thoroughly of excess fat around the neck and cavity but also to treat its skin like the fat cap on a pork or beef roast and score it extensively. These channels, which I cut into the breast as well as the thighs, also allow the salt rubbed over the skin to penetrate more deeply over a 6-hour rest. Salting the duck helps keep it juicy and thoroughly seasons the rich meat to highlight its full flavor.Use a Two-Stage Cooking MethodCooking duck presents the same familiar challenge as cooking other types of whole poultry: getting the breasts and legs to cook at the same rate. But because duck breast is thinner than chicken or turkey breast, it cooks through even more quickly than they do, making it even more of a challenge to get the tougher legs and thighs to turn tender and succulent before the breast overcooks and dries out. My solution: Give the leg portions a head start by braising them. I do this by submerging the bottom half of the ducks in water in a roasting pan and vigorously simmering them on the stove until the leg quarters register 145 to 160 degrees. Meanwhile, because the breasts don’t have contact with the water, they cook more slowly and reach only 110 to 130 degrees. At that point, I move the birds to a V-rack, glaze them, put them back in the roasting pan (emptied of braising liquid) and move them to the oven. The leg quarters are far enough along that they will turn tender by the time the breast meat reaches its target doneness temperature of 160 degrees. The upshot: a superbly flavorful, perfectly cooked holiday centerpiece that your guests are sure to remember for a long time to come.PHOTOGRAPHY: CARL TREMBLAY; ILLUSTRATION: JOHN BURGOYNEWhy (and How to) Roast DuckRich and dark inside and out, duck is — as Julia Child once said — “a bird of a dif f erent feather entirely.” That’s also true when it comes to cooking it properly. j B Y L A N L A M kCrosshatching the skin through the fat allows salt to penetrate the meat, seasoning it and helping it retain juices. It also creates channels for rendered fat to escape, as well as edges that crisp.Tips for Crosshatching1. USE THE TIP OF YOUR KNIFE This allows you to feel exactly where you’re cutting. 2. MAKE MULTIPLE STROKES PER CUT Because it’s tricky to cut to exactly where the fat hits the meat, fi rst slice through the skin and some fat, and then run the knife tip through the slit to get down to the meat. 3. TRY NOT TO NICK THE MEAT If you do, dark juices can leak and stain the bird. STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO AND NUTRITION INFORMATIONCooksIllustrated.com/DEC19 nove m be r & d e c e mb e r 2019 5WHOLE ROAST DUCKS WITH CHERRY SAUCESERVES 8 TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS, PLUS 6 HOURS SALTINGPekin ducks may also be labeled as Long Island ducks and are typically sold frozen. Thaw the ducks in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Use a roasting pan that measures at least 14 by 12 inches. This recipe was developed with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If using Morton kosher salt, use 25 percent less. Do not thaw the cherries before using. If desired, pulse the cherries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. In step 4, the crumpled aluminum foil prevents the rendered fat from smoking. Even when the duck is fully cooked, its juices will have a reddish hue. For carving instructions, see page 31. For ideas on how to use duck fat and extra duck meat, informa-tion on how to reheat leftovers, and our recipe for Duck Stock made with the braising liquid, go to CooksIllustrated.com/duck. Our recipe for a single Whole Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce is available for free for four months at CooksIllustrated.com/dec19. Ducks 2 (5½- to 6-pound) Pekin ducks, necks and giblets reserved if making stock ¼ cup kosher salt, divided 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon soy sauceCherry Sauce ⅓ cup maple syrup ¼ cup red wine vinegar 4 teaspoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons cornstarch ½ teaspoon pepper 2 sprigs fresh thyme 18 ounces frozen sweet cherries, quartered1. FOR THE DUCKS: Working with 1 duck at a time, use your hands to remove large fat deposits from bottom of cavity. Using kitchen shears, trim excess neck skin from top of breast; remove tail and first 2 segments from each wing, leaving only drumette. Arrange duck breast side up. With tip of sharp knife, cut slits spaced ¾ inch apart in crosshatch pattern in skin and fat of breast, being careful not to cut into meat. Flip duck breast side down. Cut parallel slits spaced ¾ inch apart in skin and fat of each thigh (do not crosshatch). 2. Rub 2 teaspoons salt into cavity of 1 duck. Rub 1 teaspoon salt into breast, taking care to rub salt into slits. Rub 1 tablespoon salt into skin of rest of duck. Align skin at bottom of cavity so 1 side over-laps other by at least ½ inch. Use sturdy toothpick to pin skin layers to each other to close cavity. Place duck on rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with second duck. Refrigerate uncovered for 6 to 24 hours. 3. Place ducks breast side up in roasting pan. Add water until at least half of thighs are submerged but most of breasts remain above water, about 14 cups. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to main-tain vigorous simmer. Cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of drumstick, all the way to bone, registers 145 to 160 degrees, 45 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes. After 20 minutes of cooking, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Stir maple syrup and soy sauce together in bowl.4. Set V-rack on rimmed baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray. Remove roasting pan from heat. Using tongs and spatula, lift ducks from pan one at a time, allow liquid to drain, and transfer to V-rack, breast side up. Brush breasts and tops of drumsticks with approximately one-third of maple syrup mixture. Flip ducks and brush remaining mixture over backs and sides. Transfer braising liquid to pot or large bowl to cool. (Once cool, defat liquid and reserve liquid and/or fat for another use, if desired.) Rinse roasting pan and wipe with wad of paper towels. Crumple 20-inch length of aluminum foil into loose ball. Uncrumple foil and place in roasting pan. Set V-rack on foil. Roast until backs are golden brown and breasts register 140 to 150 degrees, about 20 minutes. 5. Remove roasting pan from oven. Using tongs and spatula, flip ducks breast side up. Continue to roast until breasts register 160 to 165 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer ducks to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes.6. FOR THE CHERRY SAUCE: Whisk maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and pepper together in small saucepan. Add thyme sprigs and bring to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with rubber spatula. Continue to cook, stir-ring constantly, until mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in cherries and cook, stirring occasion-ally, until sauce has consistency of maple syrup, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl. Carve duck and serve, passing sauce separately.PREP BRAISE, THEN ROAST1. Using kitchen shears, trim excess neck skin from top of breast.2. Remove tail and fi rst 2 segments from each wing, leaving only drumette.3. With tip of sharp knife, cut cross-hatch pattern in skin and fat of breast. Cut parallel slits in skin and fat of each thigh. Rub salt into cavity and deep into scored skin and fat.4. Align skin at bottom of cavity so 1 side overlaps other; use toothpick to pin layers to each other to close cavity. Repeat steps 1 through 4 with second duck. Refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.1. Place ducks in roasting pan and add water to submerge thighs at least halfway. Simmer until thickest part of drumstick registers 145 to 160 degrees. 2. Using tongs and spatula, lift ducks from pan one at a time, allow to drain, and transfer to V-rack, breast side up.3. Brush breasts and tops of drumsticks with one-third of maple syrup mixture. Flip ducks and brush remaining mixture over backs and sides.4. Roast until breasts register 140 to 150 degrees. Flip ducks and continue to roast, breast side up, until breasts regis-ter 160 to 165 degrees. cook’s i llust rat e d6M any recipes for spiral-sliced ham—which has been injected with or immersed in a brine of water, cur-ing salt, and a sweetener; fully cooked; and smoked by the manufacturer—call for heating the ham in a roasting pan covered in foil in a 325-degree oven. But I found this approach to be flawed: By the time the center of the meat is warm, the exterior is certain to be parched. Then there is the sweet glaze that is tra-ditionally painted onto the ham. It’s a great contrast to the smoky, salty meat, but I’m always disappointed that it flavors only the very edge of the thin slices. What’s more, many recipes call for returning the ham to a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes to help the sugary glaze caramelize and set, a surefire way to further desiccate the exterior.I had a better way: I slid the ham into an oven bag and placed it in an oven set to just 250 degrees. The gentle heat warmed the interior and exterior of the ham at a similar rate. Meanwhile, the bag trapped juices, creating a humid environment that transferred heat more efficiently than dry air. In fact, when we compared two hams heated at 250 degrees—one in an oven bag and one covered in foil—the bagged ham came to temperature 25 percent (or 1 hour) faster than the foil-covered one. (That’s not just because an oven bag speeds cooking; since foil reflects heat, it actually slows down cooking.) To fix the issues with the glaze, I started by mak-ing a generous amount of caramel on the stovetop; augmenting it with cider vinegar, pepper, and five-spice powder; and brushing some of it onto the ham. With the caramelization step taken care of in advance, the ham needed only 5 minutes in a 450-degree oven for the glaze to develop a mahog-any sheen. (I pulled the ham from the 250-degree oven when it registered 110 degrees, knowing that the final blast in a hot oven would cause the meat to climb to the desired 120 to 125 degrees for serv-ing.) Next, I stirred some of the meaty ham juices that were trapped in the oven bag into the remain-ing caramel. This sweet, tart, savory sauce could be drizzled onto the slices so that every bite—not just the ones on the edge—would taste just right. SPIRAL-SLICED HAM GLAZED WITH CIDER-VINEGAR CARAMEL SERVES 12 TO 14 TOTAL TIME: 4¼ TO 5¼ HOURS We recommend a shank-end ham because the bone configuration makes it easier to carve; look for a half ham with a tapered, pointed end. We developed this recipe using Turkey Size Reynolds Kitchens Oven Bags. For carving instructions, see page 30. 1 (7- to 10-pound) spiral-sliced, bone-in half ham, preferably shank end 1 large oven bag 1¼ cups sugar ½ cup water 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 1¼ cups cider vinegar ½ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack in sheet. Unwrap ham and, if necessary, discard plastic disk covering bone. Place ham cut side down in oven bag. Insert temperature probe (if using) through top of ham into center. Tie bag shut and place ham cut side down on prepared wire rack. Bake until center registers 110 degrees, 3½ to 4½ hours.2. Bring sugar, water, and corn syrup to boil in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is straw-colored, 6 to 8 minutes. While sugar mixture cooks, microwave vinegar in bowl until steaming, about 90 seconds; set aside. Once sugar mixture is straw-colored, reduce heat to low and continue to cook, swirling saucepan occasionally, until mixture is dark amber–colored and just smoking and registers 360 to 370 degrees, 2 to 5 minutes longer. Off heat, add warm vinegar a little at a time, whisking after each addition (some caramel may harden but will melt as sauce continues to cook). When bubbling subsides, add pepper and five-spice powder. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1⅓ cups, 5 to 7 minutes.3. Remove sheet from oven and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Once oven reaches temperature, remove ham from bag and transfer to carving board. Reserve ¼ cup juices from bag; discard bag and remaining juices. Remove wire rack, leaving foil in place, and return ham to sheet, cut side down. Brush ham evenly with ⅓ cup caramel. Transfer sheet to oven and cook until glaze is bub-bling and starting to brown in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Add reserved juices to remaining 1 cup caramel and whisk to combine. 4. Slice ham and serve, passing caramel sauce separately. STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO AND NUTRITION INFORMATIONCooksIllustrated.com/DEC19We make plenty of caramel glaze and then thin some of it with ham juices to create a sauce to accompany the smoky, salty meat.Spiral-Sliced Ham Done RightOur ham is moist and juicy — and every bite benef i ts from the fl avors of the glaze.j B Y S T E V E D U N N kPHOTOGRAPHY: CARL TREMBLAYWhat Is an Oven Bag, Anyway?The United Kingdom–based baking products company Bakewell claims it created the fi rst oven cooking bag in 1966 under the brand name LOOK. Reynolds Kitchens introduced its own oven bag not long after. Though these bags have the fl imsy look and feel of plastic storage bags, they are actually manufactured from heat-resistant nylon that contains no bisphenol A (BPA) or other objectionable chemicals and are heatproof up to 400 degrees. n ovem be r & de c e mb e r 20197F ingerling potatoes are often confused with new potatoes due to their small size and thin, tender skin. However, fingerlings are fully mature potatoes with an earthy nuttiness. Roasting is a great way to enhance their flavor with browning, and their diminutive size means they can be cooked whole. The only prob-lem is that they can vary widely in shape (from crescent-like to knobby) and length (from 1 inch to nearly 5 inches). I wanted to see if I could get assorted sizes to cook at the same rate.I started by tossing 2 pounds of fingerlings with salt and a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, spread-ing them on a rimmed baking sheet, and placing the sheet in a 450-degree oven. Thirty minutes later, the potatoes had deep patches of browning and the smaller ones were cooked through, but in general the skins were tough, and some of the larger spuds were still firm in the center. At such high heat, the exteriors were drying out before the larger potatoes had a chance to cook through. In addition, the potatoes weren’t covering the entire baking sheet, allowing the residual oil on the sheet’s exposed surface to polymerize in the hot oven—and polym-erized oil is very difficult to clean. Instead, I moved the fingerlings to a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan, where they fit snugly in a single layer. I knew that crowding the potatoes would cause them to steam a bit, but that would be a good thing, helping them cook through without turning leathery. In fact, I covered the pan with aluminum foil to trap the steam. After 15 minutes, the tip of a knife easily pierced the largest potato, so I removed the foil and continued to roast the fingerlings so the skins could take on some color, shaking the pan a few times to ensure that they browned evenly. About 20 minutes later, I could see that this approach worked: Both the large and small spuds were tender and creamy. Most varieties of fin-gerlings are waxy, and waxy p...


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