Sunday, December 5, 2010

Anatra con Zucca e Vin Santo

This is a very simple looking & tasting dish, that has a lot of attention to detail in order to make it truly special. Reminiscent of Northern Italian cooking, we incorporate some of my favorite flavors of the holiday season. If you can't find vin santo or it's not in your budget, there are plenty of other dessert wines you could use such as: jorge ordonez, marsala, etc.

TT = to taste

Serves 4

For Duck & Sauce:
4 Duck Breasts, scored
2T Duck Fat
2 cloves garlic,
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup Duck Stock, or Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Vin Santo
1T Butter, unsalted
TT Salt
TT black pepper

Heat duck fat in large skillet over med low heat
season duck breasts with salt & pepper
place breasts in pans skin side down
cook low and slow until fat renders and skin crisps, about 15 minutes
once rendered properly turn up heat to med high to crisp skin
turn over and remove duck from heat
baste the duck with the fat
remove duck from pan after a minute or so after it was flipped
allow duck to rest for 5-10 minutes
remove excess fat in pan and save leaving 1T of fat left in the pan
Add the garlic clove & rosemary and return to stove over medium heat
add vin santo and reduce by half
add duck stuck and reduce until sauce consistency (50-80%)
add the butter and season with salt if needed
By the time the sauce is complete, the duck shall have finished resting

For Squash:
1 small butternut squash, split in half & seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick, broke in half
3T butter
TT Nutmeg, freshly grated
TT Cinnamon stick, freshly grated
TT salt

preheat oven to 350F
place squash in roasting pan, cut side up
place 1.5T of butter in each dug out spot of the butternut squash
place 1/2 cinnamon stick on top of the butter
season cut side with salt
pour 1-2 cups of water into the roasting pan
cover pan with aluminum foil
place in over for 1 hour or until squash is fall apart tender
remove cinnamon stick
scoop out flesh along with the butter & put into food processor
season with a little fresh cinnamon & nutmeg as well as salt if needed
puree until very smooth
set aside and keep warm

Finish Plating:
Spoon some of the butternut squash puree on the plate.
slice the duck and plate over the puree
spoon sauce over and around the plate
serve immediately