Thursday, July 3, 2014

Canada Day Duck

Canada Day Duck aka Duck Legs with Port-Cherry sauce

Since Okanagan cherries are in season, it occurred to me that duck legs, marinated in port, would go well with a sauce which included fresh cherries, although I suspect that frozen cherries could also work quite well. One thing led to another. It also helps that we have this brilliant shop in Lower Gibsons which sells stellar olive oils and balsamic vinegars: Sunshine Coast Olive Oils.

For ten guests, I prepared a couple of extra legs – in case a couple of them wanted a 2nd piece. It happens.

Prep time – 3 hours including marinating time.

Duck legs - lightly salted (guests can always add more salt to taste)
1 c
Port – I used Taylor Fladgate - Late bottled vintage. A sauce such as this deserves a good port (in any storm).
¼ c
Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar. (You could eat this stuff spoonful by spoonful)
2 tsp
Sugar – although I ended up adding a bit more to balance the cherries and port.
1 lb
Pitted Cherries
NOTE If you wanted a bit of heat - a few chili flakes would not be amiss. My husband is averse to heat, so I didn't go down that path.

1.      Marinate the duck legs for an hour or so in the fridge, in the port.
2.      Then preheat the oven to 325 F. or 160 C. (or 300 F and 150 C. if using convection). The point is the slow cooking which releases the duck fat.
3.      Put the duck legs in a roasting pan with a bit of water - enough so they don’t stick, but not so much that they swim. NOTE: The duck legs will need to roast for a total of about 2 hours.
4.      Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar to the port, boil it up, and then simmer until reduced and thickened.
5.      After the duck legs have roasted for close to an hour, pour off most of the fat, and lightly baste the meat with some of the fat.
6.      After another half hour, baste with a bit of the reduced marinade.
7.      After the legs have roasted for a total of two hours, remove them from the roasting pan, and arrange on a heat-proof platter. Pour the fat and drippings into a fat separator, and add the non-fat juices to the marinade. The fat can be saved for other cooking uses.
8.      Set the duck legs aside in a warm oven as you prepare the sauce.
9.      Add the cherries to the reduced marinade, and cook them until they are warmed through, but not so long that they get mushy.
10.  Pour cherry-marinade sauce over the duck legs, and serve.

As sides, we enjoyed a roasted pepper salad, grilled garlic scapes, and asparagus.
Laughter and food so so well together. No dinner is better than its company, and this was one of those evenings that was also full of great craic. One of the stories that stays with me from that night was the one that told of a Rastafarian version of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments - a version which involved the burning of a bush of ganja. Utterly believable.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious. One can almost smell and taste! Lucky ten guests to partake of such a feast!