Best Duck - 2009
Ducks are sweet, funny little creatures. Too bad the lipid elixir they grow under their skin and in their livers is the most perfect fat known to humankind. This year, duck fat got its proper due in the heart-stopping duck rice at Aldea. The dish is an extravagant take on paella, complete with the bits of browned, crunchy rice that stick to the bottom of the pan. The rice is slicked with duck fat, and comes with golden, crisp duck cracklings, lush confit (also, of course, cooked in duck fat), garnet petals of duck breast, and spicy chorizo—with a bit of pork fat thrown in for good measure.