Liberty Duck with Sweet Potato Hash & Cherry Jam

Another long day… we didn’t even start cooking until after dark, but all worth the effort.

Cooking duck breasts, it turns out, is easy!  A first for me, and for my friend Deborah who kindly volunteered her kitchen.  The only advice I have other than pouring wine early on is to put all bird dogs outside!  Duck in the kitchen, well, took some blame for much misbehavior by the Brittany spaniel of the house.

Our recipe was provided by Michael Tuohy, chef of GRANGE Restaurant at the Citizen Hotel.  Chef Michael, formerly of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta recalled this recipe he contributed to “Atlanta Cooks,” as a good pairing candidate for Virage red.  Sweet potato and duck… earthy, warm, rich dark flavors, it sounded delicious.  So we’re testing for the upcoming recipe section on the soon-to-be-done Virage website.

Cherry jam I did the night before –super easy.  Pop into a small saucepan: dried cherries, port, lemon, balsamic and some water to cover and simmer.  Next time, I wouldn’t sweeten the jam as much for serving with Virage.  Since it is not a high-alcohol style Napa Valley wine, I don’t really want anything too sweet on the plate.  As the rule with dessert wines goes, your wine needs to be “sweeter” than the food or the wine may taste harsh. Virage, for example, is great with bittersweet chocolate desserts.

Now, prep your duck breasts, some deep scoring through the skin and seasoning all around.  Or get your friend to do it…

Second, knock out all the chopping, and there’s not much:  sweet potatoes, onion, thyme & sage, and a bit of bacon (I used pancetta since I had some).

Then pan-fry that duck in its own delicious fat while sautéing up the hash to get some good browning.  With the duck, chef starts skin-side down to render much of the fat away, then into the oven and back out to flip over and finish.  Seems this maximizes fat rendering and skin crispiness while cooking the breast through.  Clever chef!

Slicing the duck across the grain at an angle and laying out on the plate completes the look.  I hope Chef will approve of our efforts!


About Emily Richer

Investment banker turned right banker.
This entry was posted in food pairing, One wild ride and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to RECIPE TESTING…

  1. Barbara Cameron says:

    Looks wonderful. I will definitely try it. You didn’t say how it tasted? Also, I see you used a yam, not a sweet potato – wonder if your chef did this as well? Sweet potato is not quite as sweet as a yam…

  2. Emily says:

    Well, I got my review from Chef! We overcooked the duck. We were scared when saw red juice (blood?), so don’t let that scare you. We should have followed his very precise and easy instructions EXACTLY. And we didn’t take off enough fat. I don’t think those were yams; the photo makes them look wee bit ruddier than they were 🙂

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