Monday, March 11, 2013

Roast Duck with Apple Gravy, Sweet Potato Apple Dressing and Kale and Collard Greens

I know this dish looks ridiculously complicated, but the hardest part is just working out the timing. I've tried to pace this recipe for you so you can get everything together on the table at once.  Just read the recipe before you start and you should be good to go.  After having lunch at Rustic Bakery in the Country Mart in Larkspur we went to Bel Campo Meat Co. to see if they had anything we wanted for dinner that night.  I had bought some osso bucco there last week and made the recipe from this blog and it came out outstanding.  While I think the prices at Bel Campo are a tad high, the meat is really worth it as an indulgence every once in a while.  They are starting to sell poultry on a regular basis and they had a few ducks that looked meaty so I thought I'd give it a go.  A lot of duck recipes call for a fair amount of sugar but I was able to modify one using virtually none and the duck came out great.  From start to finish it will take about 2 hours, so do this on a Sunday, drink a glass of wine, check your social networking when stuff is cooking--it'll be a thing.  The gravy was the big tie in so be sure to take the extra 10 min. to pull it together.

1 Whole Duck (4-5 lbs.)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaves
1/4 Cup Organic Apple Juice for basting
1 1/4 Cups Organic Apple Juice for gravy
optional: 1 TBSP. arrowroot powder to thicken gravy
For the Dressing:
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (3/4 pound)
2 Green Cooking Apples (1/2 pound)--Granny Smiths are looking great right now!
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Butter or Coconut Oil
For the Greens:
1 head organic collard greens (Tomatero)
1 head organic kale (Tomatero)
1/2 organic yellow onion
2 cloves organic garlic
1-2 Tablespoon olive oil/coconut oil/extra credit if you use the duck fat skimmed from the roast!
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
Heat oven to 450° F.
Take duck from bag and remove neck and giblets and excessive fat from the cavity of the duck. Reserve for other uses. Rinse duck under cool water; dry duck. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper and thyme. 
In a deep roasting pan, place duck breast side up on a rack. Prick breast with tines of fork being careful not to pierce meat. Roast 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350° F. Cover duck loosely with aluminum foil and roast until just tender -- about 1-1/2 hours.
Wash and peel sweet potatoes; wash and core apples. Cut both into 1-inch chunks. In a quart casserole dish combine sweet potatoes, apples, cinnamon, (walnuts), and butter (or coconut oil). Place in oven with duck and bake for 45 mins.  I recommend putting this in about 10 min. before pulling the foil from the duck.  Stir about half way through cooking time to avoid burning.
Prep your greens so you can cook them at or just before the time you are working on the gravy.
Wash, dry and remove the tough stems from the greens.  Chop the greens roughly.  Chop the onion and garlic and set aside.
Remove foil from duck and brush with apple juice and pan drippings. Roast until golden brown and glazed - about 20 minutes longer. Brush with juice and pan drippings several times during baking.
Remove duck to serving platter and keep warm. Skim off fat in roasting pan--reserve this for the greens if you want. Add apple juice, remaining salt, pepper, and thyme. Place pan on burner. Bring to a boil. Simmer 5-10 minutes to make apple gravy. Using a whisk, sprinkle arrowroot powder into roasting pan and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.
For the greens: in a large covered pan saute the onion in the fat for a couple of minutes until soft.  Add the garlic until fragrant, no more than a minute.  Add the greens, sesame oil, salt, black pepper, optional red pepper, stir to combine then cover and let steam for about 15 mins.
Spoon stuffing and greens around duck and serve with apple gravy.
We had zero leftovers so plan accordingly...