EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 18, 2013

Gluten-Free Duck

Tasty alternative to braised chicken


The Eagle-Tribune

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In recent years, society has begun to see a drastic increase in gluten intolerance. This dietary restriction has given cause for the creation of some exciting and flavorful dishes that feature gluten-free ingredients.

Food blogger and food enthusiast Heather Atwood, a Rockport resident, has many recipes that are not only gluten-free, but are easy to prepare and are always mouth-watering. Her recipe for Gluten Free Duck, inspired by Emeril Lagasse, is a wonderful alternative to the traditional braised duck. Straying away from the standard chicken-based recipes might be a bit out of the comfort zone for some home cooks, but with Atwood’s step-by-step guidance and encouragement in her online recipe-video, this dish is not too difficult to prepare.

Boasting a cooking time similar to your favorite chicken recipe while adhering to gluten-free dietary restrictions, this recipe for will make you look like a master chef.

Gluten-Free Duck

Difficulty: Medium

Serves: 8

Preparation Time: 11/2 hours

Ingredients

2 Muscovy ducks (approximately 4 pounds each, quartered and trimmed of excess fat)

3 teaspoons salt

11/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

5 shallots (peeled and split in half)

4 tablespoons of coconut flour

3/4 cup diced carrots

3/4 cup diced onion

2 fresh bay leaves

3 fresh rosemary sprigs

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup red wine

3 cups dark or light chicken stock (preferably home-made)

1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons Armagnac

24 prunes

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On the stove begin warming two large skillets over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, season the ducks with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

3. When the skillets are hot, add the duck pieces, fitting as many as you can in the pan without crowding, skin side down, and sear for about 6 minutes. (You will probably have to do a couple of batches.)

4. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden brown.

5. Turn over and cook on the second side for 4 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet, set aside, and prepare the remaining duck pieces the same way.

6. When the duck is finished, remove all the pieces to a large roasting pan, skin side up.

7. Drain off the excess fat from the skillets into a glass measuring cup. Wipe out a skillet with paper towels, and return to the stove and set over medium heat.

8. Add 4 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat to the pan and then the shallots, cut side down, along with the carrots, onion, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.

9. Saute the vegetables and aromatics for 5 to 6 minutes, then stir in the coconut flour. Cook, stirring, until a light roux is formed, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the red wine, chicken stock and the Armagnac. Season the sauce with remaining teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper then simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the prunes.

10. Pour the sauce over the duck in the roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Then turn the duck pieces over to skin side down and continue to bake for 45 minutes longer, or until the meat is very tender.

11. Transfer the duck pieces to a large warmed serving platter and then stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of Armagnac into the sauce. Pour much of the sauce over the platter of duck, making sure to pile on the prunes, and serve the remaining sauce in a bowl or gravy boat on the side.

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Recipe courtesy of Heather Atwood, 2013.