Grasing Duck and Wild Rice
Duck is a protein that has attributes of both red meat and poultry. To maximize its flavor and texture, chef Grasing braises the leg sections in a complex housemade duck stock and sears then roasts the breast. The contrast between the tender, succulent leg and the rosy, crisp-skinned breast makes for a dish that appeals to the eye and the palate.
2 cups Duck Stock, divided (recipe follows)
2 (5 lb.) whole ducks
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tbsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup red wine
3 cups cooked white and wild rice pilaf
2 duck carcasses (about 4 lb.)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt, divided
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 head garlic, split in half
6 bay leaves
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 qt. of water
10 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 tsp. black peppercorns
- Prepare duck stock; chill overnight.
- Debone both ducks, separating breast from carcasses; set boneless breasts aside.
- Remove legs from carcass; trim but leave skin on. In large, deep skillet, brown duck legs. Add 1 cup stock; cover and braise 1 hr. Remove from heat.
- Prepare finishing sauce: In saucepan, sauté carrot, onion and celery in a little oil until lightly browned. Add five-spice powder and ginger; sauté lightly. Stir in red wine. Cook over med.-high heat until reduced by half. Add 1 cup duck stock; reduce by half again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Score skin on duck breasts at 1/4-in. intervals, making a criss-cross pattern. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil a sauté pan; preheat over med.-low heat. Place duck breast, skin-side down, into pan; cook for 10 to 12 min. until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown. Turn duck breast over and sear meat side 2 min.
- Transfer duck breast to oven and cook until internal temperature reaches 152° F. Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 to 4 min. before slicing. (Temperature should reach 160° F. to 165° F. while resting.)
- To serve, place 3/4 cup rice mixture on each plate; lay duck leg against rice. Slice and fan out breast meat; top with finishing sauce.
- Break and crack the bones of the duck carcasses. In 6-qt. stockpot over med.-high heat, heat olive oil. Season duck bones with 1 tsp. salt and ground black pepper. Add bones to pot and brown for about 10 min., stirring often.
- Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and remaining tsp. salt. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 min., stirring often.
- Add wine and tomato paste; stir to mix. Cook 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add water. Put thyme and tarragon sprigs in a piece of cheesecloth, tie it together with kitchen twine and add to pot. Add peppercorns; bring mixture to a boil. Skim off any cloudy scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, uncovered, 3 hr.
- Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer and cool. Refrigerate overnight and remove any congealed fat from surface. The stock can be stored in the freezer for 1 month.