Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another pairing recommendation for the Purple Teeth Cellars 2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah

Pan-Seared Duck with Plum Sauce and Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

The richness and juiciness of the duck, combined with the creaminess of the polenta, call for a wine with lots of intensity and character. As luck would have it, Purple Teeth Cellars has a wine that fits the bill since it has plenty of dark fruits and spices both in terms of aroma and on the palette. Try it out in your kitchen, pop open your bottle of 2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah, and let us know what you think! And don't forget to flash those PURPLE TEETH!

Serves 4


  • 4 boneless duck breasts
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced quarter-length
  • Bunch of fresh Thai basil leaves, for garnish

Plum Sauce

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup of fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup plum preserves
Creamy Mascarpone Polenta
  • Non-stick canola spray
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup of polenta (medium-grain yellow cornmeal – not instant)
  • 8 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese (4 oz.)
  • ½ cup of fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons of herbed cheese curds (4 oz.)
  • ½ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted


For duck breast:

  1. Thaw the duck breast, if frozen (either place in refrigerator a full day before you want to cook the duck or use the defrost setting on your microwave).
  2. Slice onion into quarter-length and chop garlic into thin slices.
  3. Put the duck breast skin-side down in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until the skin starts to crackle and give off its fat; then turn heat to medium low and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the breast once or twice. There may be some splattering outside of the plan so be careful.
  4. When the skin side of the duck breast is brown and crispy and the meat heated through, remove it to a plate and set aside until it's cool enough to handle. Don't worry if it's still rare at the center, it will cook a little more later on.
  5. Pour off most of the rendered duck fat into a container (see NOTE below), leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Use it to brown the onions and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it's caramelized and dark golden-brown.

NOTE: Duck fat is great to store and use for sautéing vegetables. Just keep in a container in your refrigerator and use a little bit the next time you want to sauté something another day. You get a big bang for the buck in terms of how much you need and the flavor it adds to a dish. OK, this is not the low-calorie option, but it is a delicious one!

For sauce:

  1. Bring wine, chicken stock, thyme sprigs, and Thai basil leaves to boil in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix butter and flour in small bowl to blend. Whisk butter-flour mixture into broth. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in plum preserves; simmer 1 minute. Remove thyme sprigs and Thai basil leaves.

    NOTE: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-warm prior to serving.

For polenta:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, unless you are making this dish in advance.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a boil, stirring every few minutes with a wooden spoon to prevent the milk from getting scorched.
  3. In order to have the polenta smooth (as opposed to lumpy), so slowly pour the polenta into the milk with a sprinkling motion and use a whisk constantly to ensure that the polenta is all absorbed.
  4. Turn the heat to very low on your stove. Grab the wooden spoon and continue to stir the polenta every 10 minutes for a ½ hour. Basically you want a consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. Stir in mascarpone, chopped up Thai basil and cheese curds. Again, stir until you have that desired consistency.
  5. Spray 8x11 heat-resistant cooking dish with canola oil. Transfer polenta to cooking dish, spreading it evenly across.
  6. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the polenta.
  7. Place the dish into the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
NOTE: Polenta can be made 1 day ahead. After step 5, place dish in refrigerator and cover. When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and resume with step 6.

Bringing it all together:

To serve with pan-seared duck and plum sauce, place serving of polenta on each dish. Then place duck breast over polenta and garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves. Drizzle with plum sauce and serve with 2006 Purple Teeth Cellars Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah!

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posted by Jill B. @ 2:41 PM        0 Comments


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