Friday, January 19, 2007

Shut-up Duck @ David and Caseys, Kensington

These two intrepid cookers live in the celestial hills overlooking Berkeley making it easy for them to swoop down to procure any item of gustatory delight. They had us over for Manka's Shut-Up Duck Legs, served with roasted brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. The duck was soooo good, the long cook time had rendered out the fat, leaving a perfect crispy thin skin and the meat was fall of the bone tender. I found this recipe online here.
Serves 4

Manka's Inn chef Daniel DeLong prepared this dish for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles when they ate at the restaurant last November on a visit to Point Reyes. "Camilla doesn't particularly care for duck, and she wanted the recipe," reports DeLong. Billed as Duck Fit for a Prince to diners, the dish is called "Shut Up" Duck behind the scenes because a hush falls over the dining room when it's served.


4 duck legs, 8 to 10 ounces each, visible fat removed
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Several grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
3/4 cup red wine
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups duck stock, or more as needed (available in the freezer case in many markets)


To prepare the duck: Season the duck legs on both sides with the salt and pepper. Put the legs on a flat rack and set the rack on a tray so that air circulates all around the legs. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.

Heat a 14-inch ovenproof skillet over moderate heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the duck legs, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is well browned and most of the fat has rendered; 15 to 20 minutes, pouring off the fat as it accumulates.

Set the duck legs aside on a plate. Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two to release its fragrance. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and simmer until all the wine has evaporated. Add the orange juice and simmer until it is reduced by half.

Stir in the mustard, thyme and 1 1/2 cups stock, whisking until the mustard dissolves and the stock is simmering. Return the duck to the skillet, skin-side up. Cover with a round of parchment paper and a lid. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the duck legs are tender when prodded with a fork, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

Set the duck legs aside and pour the sauce into a measuring cup. Let the sauce settle for 10 to 15 minutes, then skim off fat. Return the sauce to the skillet and keep warm. If there is not enough sauce, add a little duck stock.

Preheat the broiler. To crisp the duck skin before serving, set the legs on a broiler rack about 8 inches from the element. Broil, watching constantly, until the skin is crisp. To serve, spoon a little sauce onto each plate and top with a duck leg.

Per serving (without skin): 205 calories, 21 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 79 mg cholesterol, 684 mg sodium, 0 fiber.

The amount of duck fat rendered during cooking varies greatly. Factors include the breed of duck and preparation. Therefore, the skin and separable fat are not included in the analysis. If left on, they will contribute more calories and fat.

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