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Wine bottle and glass

2014 Tara Pinot Noir
Wine ClubWine Shop


Charlie’s Wine Angel Dinner
February 27, 2006



Serves 4 as an entree


For the duck and jus:
2 each    whole ducks
3 Tbsp    canola or grape seed oil
1 cup    diced carrots
1 cup    diced celery
1 cup    diced yellow onion
2 ea    meyer lemons, grated zest only
4 cups    chicken stock             
1 cup    veal demi glace

For the polenta:
2 cups    polenta
5 cups    milk
150 grams    butter
1/2 cup    grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup    whipped heavy cream
3 cups    panko bread crumbs (ground fine in blender)
3Tbsp    salt

For the Marmalade:
3 heads    endive, leaves separated
2 stalks     rhubarb, diced medium
3 Tbsp    sugar
½ cup    orange juice
½ cup    white wine
½ cup     Campari
1 Tbsp    unsalted butter

Additional Garnishes:
3 Tsp    coriander seed
1 Tsp    fennel seed
1 Tbsp    white pepper

To Prepare the Duck Jus:
Remove breasts from ducks, score the fat in a cross hatch pattern and refrigerate until ready to cook. 
Chop the rest of the duck into 2” pieces with a cleaver.  Roast duck pieces in the oven at 350 degrees until caramelized, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from roasting pan and transfer to a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepot along with carrots, onions, and celery. Cover with chicken stock and reduce until there is only 1” of liquid remaining in the bottom of the pan.  Add Veal demi glace and continue to reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon nicely.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a small sauce pot, pressing firmly to extract all juices from solids, discard the solids.  Add meyer lemon zest and adjust the seasoning of the sauce, cover and set aside.
To Prepare the Polenta:
In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, bring milk to boil, whisk in polenta and salt. Reduce heat to medium, and stir constantly to make sure polenta doesn’t stick to bottom of pan.  When polenta is fully cooked, (about 15-20 minutes depending on size and type used) stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, and heavy cream. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour polenta onto a plastic film lined baking dish and allow to cool completely in refrigerator. The polenta should spread out to be about an inch thick. When cool, cut polenta into rectangles the same size as the duck breasts and then roll in the finely ground bread crumbs. 

To Prepare the Endive Rhubarb Marmalade:
Add the sugar, orange juice, salt, pepper, and butter and Campari together into a shallow pot large enough to contain all of the ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and add the endive leaves and rhubarb. Cover and to cook for 10 to 12 minutes over low heat, until just tender. Remove the endive and rhubarb with a slotted spoon to a bowl, reduce the remaining liquid in the pan to a thin syrup and then add the vegetables back to it.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, remove from heat and keep covered until ready to assemble the dish.

To Assemble the Dish:
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.

Coarsely grind the spices together with a mortar and pestle and rub them into the fat side of duck breasts.  Place duck breasts in a sauté pan fat side down over medium heat.  Render fat until only a thin crisp skin remains, occasionally basting the meat sided of the breast with the slowly rendering fat.  Remove excess fat from pan  but do not discard and transfer to the oven until internal temperature reaches medium rare about 130F.
Remove the ducks to a resting rack in a warm place and tent lightly with aluminum foil to let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Add the rendered fat back to the pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the polenta in the duck fat over medium heat, coloring a golden brown on both sides, approx 4 minutes per side. Use a slotted spatula to remove the crisp polenta rectangles to a plate lined with absorbent toweling.

Heat the sauce and endives rhubarb marmalade through.  Place a portion of polenta each onto heated plates, slice the duck breasts and lay over the polenta.  Serve the marmalade aside the breasts and spoon the sauce over and around.