This rich duck recipe with a nutty wild rice and salsify is just the thing for those cold autumn evenings when you want something elegant to pair with our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
3 duck breasts
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups wild rice
8 cups water
3 Tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
1lb Ozark ham (1/2” dice)
1lb salsify root, cubed or sliced (you may substitute Parsnips, Lotus Root, or Yucca)
6 garlic cloves (lightly crushed but still in skin)
salt & pepper as needed to taste
garlic powder to taste
Prepare wild rice by simmering 8 cups water along with bay leaf, 2 thyme sprigs, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add rice and cook covered on medium heat until all water has been absorbed and the grains are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and thyme springs. Keep warm.
Whilst the rice cooks, begin preparing the duck by scoring skin side of breasts to render off excess fat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place duck breasts skin side down in a “cold” sauté pan. Heat pan over medium heat. (Like bacon, the fat will render and crisp while insulating the meat from overcooking.) Do not shuffle or turn breasts until skin side has become very crispy, about 8 minutes.
After skin is sufficiently crisp, remove breasts, drain pan of excess fat, heat on high heat and return breasts to sear on flesh side, about 1 minute. Breasts are now done; just rest them in a warm spot near stove.
Heat oven to 350F. Into the same pan used for the duck, add diced ham to warm through. Heat over moderate-high heat, tossing to keep any from browning. Once warmed through, put all ham into a foil packet and keep warm in the oven.
Prepare salsify root by heating same pan over very high heat. As soon as it begins to smoke, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add salsify, ham, 2 thyme sprigs, and toss to coat with butter. Season with garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Continue tossing until the root vegetable is just tender and light golden brown. Deglaze pan with chicken stock and simmer while you prepare to plate.
Place two large spoonfuls of rice in center of plate, surround with salsify/stock reduction (thyme spring removed), top rice with slices of duck breast; and finish with a clove of garlic per serving. Enjoy!