A flair for the dramatic
If duck isn’t on your holiday menu, it should be. With its rich, dark meat and delicious crispy skin, it’s the perfect alternative to roasting a whole turkey. In this recipe, we roast the duck with a mix of spices, herbs and fresh orange juice. The apples in the wild rice stuffing add a touch of sweetness to balance out the savoriness of the sage.
Pair it with our Estate Pinot Noir. The dish complements the citrus and savory notes in our Estate Pinot Noir, and the fresh, bright acidity of the wine balances the entire meal.
FOR THE DUCK
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 5- to- 6 pound Pekin duck
1 orange, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh sage sprigs
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup duck stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 small baking apples, halved
1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 celery rib
FOR THE SAUCE
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
FOR THE STUFFING
6 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups wild rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh sage, stems removed and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely minced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup apple, peeled, halved, cored, and diced
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
kumquats and fresh sage for garnish, if desired
Place an oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 475°F.
Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat the duck dry and sprinkle the skin and cavity with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of the orange into quarters and place it in the duck cavity along with the sprigs of thyme and sage.
Combine the juice of the remaining half of the orange with the wine and stock. Set aside.
Place the apple, onion wedges, carrot, and celery in a roasting pan, then place the duck on top of vegetables and roast for 30 minutes.
Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to roast duck until a thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1/2 hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
While the duck is cooking make the stuffing. (I am generally a fan of cooking the stuffing separately.)
Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse. Shake out the excess water.
Combine broth, rice, and salt in a saucepan. Heat on high until boiling, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes or until it is chewy and some of the grains have burst open. Continue cooking, if necessary, until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the butter and shallot. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the shallots are translucent and just browned. Add the celery and apple and continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Stir in the walnuts, sage, and salt. Set the rice mixture aside.
Remove the duck from the oven, then transfer it to a cutting board, reserving the juices in the pan.
While the duck rests, cook sugar in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts. Add orange juice and salt and simmer over low heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.
Discard vegetables from roasting pan and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to pan juices to total roughly 1/2 cup liquid.
Whisk together butter and flour over medium-high heat until the flour begins to cook, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the pan juices, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Place the duck on a platter and garnish with the baked apple halves, fresh kumquats, and sage leaves. Serve the sauce and stuffing on the side.