It takes no more than 10 minutes (if that) to put everything together into the pot in the early afternoon and by 6:30 you have a flavorful meal to serve over rice, noodles, or potatoes.
Tonight I braised my favorite local duck from Iacono Farm. What I really like about the Iacono ducks is how lean they are. Most ducks are so fatty, but Iacono ducks have just the right amount of fat to keep them moist and flavorful without being too greasy.
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The inspiration for my recipe came from this Epicurious recipe from 1996. I added more red wine, my turkey stock from Thanksgiving, and carrots, turnips, and onions from my CSA Quail Hill Farm to enhance the flavor of the recipe. I also used an emulsion blender at the end of the process to blend the sauce.
What you need:
1 whole Duck or 4 large whole duck legs
2 cups of a good dry red wine (local if you have a good one)
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
8 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup golden raisins
5 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 large carrots in a large dice
1 red onion in a large dice
1 turnip in a large dice
Preheat oven to 265°F and season duck with salt and pepper.
In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold legs in one layer, cook legs, skin sides down, over moderately high heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin browned, removing fat from kettle as it is rendered with a metal bulb baster (or very carefully tilting the kettle and spooning off). Rotate duck and brown all sides and then transfer to a plate.
Pour off fat from kettle and deglaze with wine, scraping up brown bits. Add garlic, thyme and 1/2 cup dried fruit and stock and return duck breast side up and bring mixture to a simmer and braise, covered, in oven 2.5 to 3 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Pour braising mixture (removing the thyme) into a 1-quart measuring cup (or a fat separator) and let stand until fat rises to the top. Skim off fat and return liquid to the braising pan and puree with an emulsion blender or transfer to a regular blender. Boil liquid until reduced by about one third and slightly thickened and add remaining 1/2 cup dried fruit. Simmer sauce until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
While sauce is simmering remove the meat from the bone and cook your noodles. Once your sauce is ready return the meat to the pot and stir in buttered tagliatelle.
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