We couldn’t resist creating a late winter pairing for the inaugural release of our estate-grown Pommard. The 2020 vintage is particularly soulful with rippling dark fruit set against a backdrop of earthier tones and spice. The flavor profile of this wine plays especially well with duck. In this recipe, we’ve allowed the richness of the duck to shine through with minimal preparation and care taken to achieve the perfect sear. Mushrooms sautéed in the rendered duck fat lend earthiness and a sense of luxury, while a generous dollop of polenta adds a layer of creaminess and comforting rusticity.
Our Clonal Series Pommard is allocated for our Grand Cru Club Members, if you’re not a member, don’t worry—this dish also pairs beautifully with our Estate and Yamhill-Carlton Assemblage Pinot Noirs.
FOR THE POLENTA
1 cup polenta, we like Golden Pheasant
4 cups water
1. teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2. cup grated Parmesan cheese
FOR THE DUCK
2 large 12-ounce skin-on duck breast halves
1 1/4 pounds crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sherry
1 teaspoon butter
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh thyme for garnish
Remove the duck breasts from their packaging. Use a sharp knife to score the skin in a crosshatch pattern, then salt the breasts on both sides. Allow them to come up to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
Add the water and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta and stir until the mixture has thickened. Stir to break up any lumps and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a cold, large cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook, until the fat begins to render, around 8-10 minutes. During the last couple minutes of cooking, use a pair of tongs to press down on the breasts so that the skin crisps evenly,. When the skin is nicely browned and crispy, flip the breasts and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until a thermometer reads 125° to 135°, depending upon how rare you like them. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and allow them to rest skin-side up. Tent with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
Drain the duck fat from the skillet and set it aside (you’ll want to save this treasure for later cooking projects). Return the skillet to medium-high heat, then add the mushrooms and cook until they are nicely browned. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the sherry, turn down the heat and allow the sherry to reduce to half its original volume. Toss in the butter and stir until it has melted and is incorporated into the reduction sauce. Remove the pan from the heat.
While the sauce is cooling, add the butter, heavy cream and parmesan to the polenta. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated and until the polenta is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat.
Slice the duck breasts on the diagonal and serve them over a generous helping of polenta, mushrooms, and the sherry reduction sauce. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme.