Not a turkey day question BUT...we've landed on duck(s) for Christmas dinner. Ideas for sides?

Alecsandra Thadani


Nancy November 24, 2016
There were a couple Asian duck recipes in the New York Times around 5 years ago that I liked very much: one an rhubarb curry and one with Vietnamese seasonings.
The flavors of these two dishes give wonderful contrast with the rich duck.
If you made either of those, you could go with various Indian side dishes (aloo gobi, stewed tomatoes, rice pilaf) or Vietnamese salads and, again, rice.
Certainly not the traditional (European influenced) duck preparations we think of for a fancy meal, and maybe not Christmasy enough.
But if you like the ideas, consider one of them for day 2 leftovers.
AntoniaJames November 23, 2016
Duck is so rich, I typically go for somewhat austere sides - I'd make my wild rice + brown rice pilaf, studded with tart dried cherries plumped in Madeira and toasted pecans folded in at the end with a good bit of chopped parsley. I'd start with the Thomas Keller butternut squash soup here on the site - bright, beautiful, elegant. As another side, the Swiss Chard Agrodolce would be lovely on Christmas -- with red chard, it's so festive, and its light but sharp dressing is perfectly suited to alongside duck. I'd also serve a gingered yellow beet pickle, and haricots verts with lightly toasted slivered almonds, tossed in butter (which my mother often served on Christmas). Finally, I'd serve this roasted mushroom "salad", which isn't so much like a salad to be redundant. Wild mushrooms (like wild rice) just seem to go with duck. Dessert: dark chocolate, in whatever you format you like.
Now you have me thinking about duck next month! Happy Thanksgiving!
AJ ;o)
katekirk November 23, 2016
Love to do "typical" Christmas roast sides with a twist for duck: parsnip or cauliflower puree, creamed chard or garlicky beet greens rather than potatoes or spinach to balance out the rich duck (which I also find hard not to pair with a cherry/plum chutney that has a dab of mustard in it...)
Alecsandra T. November 23, 2016
These are some great ideas, thanks! The celery root puree sounds fantastic.
Amanda H. November 23, 2016
I love celery root with duck -- this puree has just a hint of apple in it, which brightens the flavor. I'd also recommend something with a little bitterness and acid, like an escarole salad with a bracing vinaigrette.
Amanda H. November 23, 2016
Oops here's the puree link:
Merrill S. November 23, 2016
With duck, I like scalloped potatoes -- either a traditional gratin, or you could sub in stock for the milk/cream for something lighter. Also, you could serve some roasted root vegetables like parsnips and carrots, maybe tossed with a little maple syrup, olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar. A salad of sturdy greens (like kale or mustard greens) would be a nice foil for the fattiness of the duck.
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