Delicious Duck Recipes

The Online companion to the November 1st article, "Bird on a Wire."



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These recipes are the Online companion to the November 1, 2006 article, "Bird on a Wire."  

 Roast Long Island Duckling with Merlot and Chocolate Sauce with Roast Beets with Garlic and Thyme
Chef David Page, co-owner of Shinn Estate Vineyards and chef-owner of Home Restaurant in New York City simmers a whole duckling in water to render some of the fat before roasting it. He says that pricking the skin after 20 minutes of roasting keeps it tender and flavorful, while allowing excess fat to be rendered slowly. For the wine sauce that accompanies the duckling, Page adds a bit of unsweetened chocolate, which, he says, brings out the chocolate notes in the Merlot he pairs with the dish.

For the roast duck:
1 cup red wine, preferably Merlot
1 (4- to 5-pound) Long Island (Pekin) duckling, fat at cavities trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
Rind of 1 orange
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cheesecloth and twine for sachet

For the roast beets with garlic and thyme:
6 medium beets, trimmed, cut in half or quartered
4 to 5 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Merlot-chocolate sauce:
½ cup red wine, preferably Merlot
2 ½ cups duck stock, veal stock or dark chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Grated zest and juice of ½ orange
1 Tablespoon grated bitter unsweetened chocolate
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ËšF.

Simmer the red wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, until it is reduced in volume by two-thirds. Cool and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer over high heat. Submerge the whole duck in the water and simmer for 3 minutes. Cool completely. Pat the duck dry. Set the duck breast skin-side up in a roasting pan fitted with a wire rack.

Fill a square of cheesecloth with the thyme, bay, peppercorns and orange rind. Tie the sachet off with the twine. Season the inside and outside of the duck with salt and pepper. Insert the sachet into the cavity of the duck. Roast for 20 minutes, periodically spooning any rendered fat out of the pan. Reserve fat for another use.

While the duck is roasting, prepare the beets: Place the beets, garlic, thyme and olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place into the oven with the duck.

At this point, prick the skin in the fatty parts of the duck, just below the breast and under the thigh. Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚F and continue to roast the duck and beets for another 1½ hours, periodically spooning the rendered fat out of the pan.

After 1½ hours, with a pastry brush, brush the entire duck with the reduced red wine. Raise the oven temperature to 400˚F and roast the duck for 10 to 15 minutes until the bird is glazed. Remove the duck and beets from the oven and let the duck rest for 15 minutes before removing the sachet and carving.

To prepare the sauce: Heat the wine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 7 minutes or until it is reduced in volume by two-thirds. Add the stock, thyme, zest and juice and reduce again by two-thirds. Just before serving, remove the pan from the heat, add the grated chocolate, one teaspoon at a time, whisking until it is incorporated. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and serve alongside the carved duck with the beets. Serves 2 to 4.

 


Seared Duck Breast with Lentils, White Asparagus and Wild Montana Huckleberries
To give maximum flavor and richness to the lentils that accompany this seared duck breast, Chef Chris Manning at Etoile, the restaurant at Domaine Chandon in Napa, California, makes his own duck leg confit (duck legs preserved in their own fat). But you can buy the confit at a good gourmet shop or via the Internet. If you can't find them, the lentils will still be delicious without. 

 

 
For the brine:
4 gallons water
3½ pounds salt
1 pound granulated sugar
1 medium red onion
2 lemons, halved
2 limes, halved
2 oranges, halved
4 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
10 juniper berries
1 (1-ounce) bunch fresh thyme sprigs

For the duck breast:
2 (14-ounce) duck breasts with bone
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the wild Montana huckleberry sauce:
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 carrot, diced                                                            
1 medium yellow onion, diced                                   
1 head garlic                                                              
1 leek, tough leaves trimmed so only white parts remain, washed well       
Salt to taste
1 cup Pinot Noir (such as Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir)
3 cups duck stock or veal stock
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 juniper berries
¼ cup wild Montana huckleberries or other mountain huckleberries
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the turnip purée:
1 baseball-sized turnip, peeled and diced in quarter inch pieces (about ½ cup)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream, or more to cover
Salt and white pepper, to taste

For the lentils:
1 ounce (about 3 slices) bacon, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, cut in small dice
½ carrot, cut in small dice
1 cup green lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
5 fresh thyme sprigs, wrapped in cheesecloth
1 leg duck confit, picked off the bone in very small pieces (optional)
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the asparagus:
6 spears white asparagus, peeled and cut on a bias in ¼-inch slices
Zest and juice of 1 tangelo
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the daikon sprouts with lemon vinaigrette:
1/3 to ½ cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 to ½ to cup grapeseed oil
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
4 bundles daikon sprouts or microarugula

To brine the duck: Mix the salt and sugar with 2 gallons water in a large (3-gallon) pot and heat until fully dissolved. Transfer the liquid to a 5-gallon bucket. Add the onion, lemons, limes, oranges, bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries and thyme. Cover with the remaining 2 gallons cold water. Refrigerate until well chilled. Once the brine has cooled, add the duck breast, cover and refrigerate for 48 hours. This works best when the duck breast is fully submerged; use a heavy plate to weigh down the duck breast if necessary.

Remove duck breast from liquid, transfer to a storage container, cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.

To make the huckleberry sauce:On the day you plan to cook the duck, heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. When the oil ripples, add the carrot, onion, garlic, leek and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and tender, and the onion and leek are translucent. Add the Pinot Noir and cook over low heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Simmer for 2 hours, periodically skimming any white foam and scum from the surface.

Strain, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pot, add the peppercorns and juniper berries and return to a simmer, occasionally skimming off any foam and brushing the sides of the pot with a wet brush to remove any sauce that sticks to it. Simmer for about 1½ hours or until the sauce is thick enough so that when you dip your spoon into it and run your finger across the spoon, you can draw a line in the sauce. Then, strain the sauce again through a fine sieve into a bowl and add the huckleberries. Cover and keep warm.

For the turnips: Place the diced turnip into a heavy-bottomed saucepot. Add the butter, enough cream to cover and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until turnips are soft.

Meanwhile, prepare a water bath by heating a heavy-bottomed stockpot of water over low heat. (Test the water level by placing a plastic food storage container into the pot; the water should come halfway up the side of the container.)

When the turnips are softened, process with an immersion blender until smooth or carefully transfer them to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and strain through a fine sieve into the plastic storage container. Place it into the water bath, cover and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

To prepare the lentils: Set a heavy-bottomed saucepot over low heat and add the bacon, onion and carrot. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the bacon has rendered much of its fat and is golden brown and crispy. Add the lentils and pour in enough vegetable stock to cover them. Add the thyme and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from the heat and remove the thyme bundle. Season the lentils with salt and pepper, add the picked duck confit (if using), and the chives, and stir in the butter. Cover and keep warm.

To prepare the asparagus: First pour the tangelo juice and zest into a heavy-bottomed pot. Set it over low heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the juice is reduced in volume by half. Add the asparagus to the tangelo juice and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, and season with salt and pepper to taste. With tongs, transfer to a platter, cover and keep warm.

For the lemon vinaigrette: Whisk 1/3 cup lemon juice with 1/3 to ½ cup grapeseed oil and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

To cook the duck: Preheat the oven to 375ËšF. Heat two (8-inch) ovenproof sauté pans over low heat. Cut the duck breast in half, and, with a sharp knife, score the skin in a crisscross fashion, making sure to not cut all the way through.

Season the duck breast halves with salt and pepper, and place into the sauté pans skin-side down (with no oil in the pan). As the breast halves release their fat, spoon it out of the pan to make the skin crisp. This will take about 15 minutes. (You can reserve the fat for another use if you wish.) When the skin is lightly golden in color, transfer the sauté pans into the oven and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the duck breast reaches 130ËšF. Place the cooked breast halves skin-side up on paper towels in a warm place and let rest for 5 minutes. (This will prevent the juices from bleeding out when you slice them.)

To assemble, prepare 4 warmed dinner plates. Slice the cooked duck breast halves thinly and place the slices on a paper towel.

Spoon a dollop of turnip purée into the center of each plate. Dip the edge of a spoon into the purée at the 4 o'clock position on the plate and pull the spoon and purée outward to the edge of the plate. Repeat at the 10 o' clock position. Divide the lentils evenly between the plates, placing each portion in the center of the purée. Place equal portions of asparagus on top of the lentils.

Fan equal portions of sliced duck over each mound of lentils and asparagus. Spoon the huckleberry sauce around the duck. Season the daikon sprouts with the lemon vinaigrette and garnish each plate with some sprouts. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

 

 

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