10/24/11

Sunday Dinner: Roast Duck with Apple Sausage Stuffing & Root Vegetables

One of the most exciting things about maintaining this blog is that we're forced to think more creatively about the food that we make. Even though we love to cook often, and tend to be quite "epicurious," it's easy to get stuck in a routine. But this week Silka decided she wanted to roast a duck. That was different! We both love duck because, as you've probably gathered, we love the gamier meats. Neither of us had any experience cooking it, but something about roasting a duck seemed so classic - out of Dickens or Proust - that we figured it couldn't be that difficult. So we deferred to the classic - Julia Child - for her Roast Duck and Apple & Sage Stuffing recipe. 

We'd never bought a whole duck at the market but we knew we'd find one at Quattro's Game Farm. At Migliorelli’s we picked up some apples for the stuffing and a medley of hearty vegetables to roast with the duck: squash, turnips, carrots, and some beets. The breakfast sausage from Flying Pigs was calling our name, and to balance out the meal we grabbed some salad mix from Windfall Farms.

When we got home it dawned on us that we had gotten so carried away with duck plans that we had forgotten to invite people over! And ducks are big. So Silka called our friends, neighbors, and fellow bloggers Sara and Ron to spontaneously share the bird, which turned out perfectly. The duck was so easy, and as an added bonus it left us with twelve cups of stock and 3 cups of duck fat! Next up: Mushroom Risotto made with Duck Stock.

Apple Sausage Stuffing

+ ½ lbs pork sausage, breakfast or English style
+ 1/2 tsp honey
+ 4-5 crisp apples, skins removed, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks - we used Jonagolds and Macouns
+ 1 tablespoon sugar
+ ¼ tsp cinnamon
+ ¼ tsp salt
+ 1 sprig of sage
+ 2 tablespoons cognac
+ ¼ cup port
+ ¼ cup stock - we made a quick stock using the giblets

1. Remove sausage from casing. Brown sausage in a heavy pan on high heat. When golden brown, set aside in a bowl, reserving fat in the pan.
2. Add honey to the reserved fat and heat. Saute apples in the honey/fat mixture on medium-high heat, until they are lightly browned and almost tender. Try not to overcook.
3. Place the apples on a platter and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt, sage, and cognac.
4. Add port and beef stock to pan, boiling rapidly until liquid has reduced to 2-3 tablespoons. Pour wine reduction over the sausage.
5. When cooled, combine apple mixture and sausage mixture.

Roast Duck

+ one 5 ½ lb duck
+ a sprig of thyme
+ a sprig of sage
+ 2 small onions, sliced
+ 1 medium carrot, sliced
+ salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season the inside of the duck with salt, pepper, herbs, and some of the sliced onion. Stuff the duck with the stuffing and close the cavity. We used wooden skewers to pin the cavity closed.
2. Tie the legs and wings to the body. Prick the skin around the thighs, back, and lower breast and pat the duck dry with a towel. Generously salt.
3. Place duck, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Surround the duck with the carrots and rest of the onions.
4. Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and turn duck on its side. Remove accumulated fat from pan.
5. After 30 minutes turn the duck on the other side, removing any excess fat again.
6. After another 30 minutes turn the duck breast side up and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
7. Let rest and serve.

Gravy

+ 2 cups of stock
+ 2 tablespoons butter
+ 3 tablespoons port

1. Make a stock using the giblets while roasting the duck. Add cooked vegetables from the duck's roasting pan to stock and mash together. Add the port and simmer for a minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Strain and serve in a gravy boat with duck and stuffing. 

2 comments:

  1. Sitting with my morning coffee enjoying the wonderful discovery of your blog! Thank you SO much!
    Seeing this recipe immediately transported me to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted at our home some 25 years ago. The fresh duck we had ordered a month previous was delivered to our door, dressed and ready to cook, on a snowy Thanksgiving Eve day. We lived in rural Wisconsin at the time and country living was small compared to the conveniences of my life today, but so much larger than life! I made dinner for our young family, including cousins and their families who had come up for deer season. In blaze orange, the hunters (who had failed to gather!) came in, stomping the snow off their boots, ready for a hot meal. I had set the table with my wedding stoneware and stemware atop an antique crocheted lace tablecloth. Together we sat to enjoy the delicious feast while the woodstove and conversation filled the house with warmth and coziness! We all had a good laugh when the orange sauce for the duck was mistaken for gravy for the mashed potatoes! A quarter of a century later and an empty-nester living in Florida, God is good and I am still thankful! I think I will make this recipe for Christmas dinner and create new memories to savor. Thanks for bringing such pleasure to my day....I appreciate you!

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