Romantic wild Duck Dinner, gluten-free Vermont style

photo (11)It’s not every day you have duck. It’s also not every day your boyfriend brings home the duck. While this meal was created during fall duck season, it could be beautifully re-created with frozen or store-bought duck any time of the year!

Soaking your duck breast in a brine will make it moist and tender. Leaving some skin on gives this pan-cooked duck a bit of fat to keep the meat from over-drying. photo (9)

1 duck breast

1 quart of water
2 Tb salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch each of thyme and oregano

Salad & dressing (mix ingredients in a jar and shake well):
Mixed greens, spinach or arugula
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb orange juice
1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1 tsp orange zest (grated or finely chopped peel)
Dash of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Blue-cheese twice baked potatoes
Two roasting potatoes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup gluten-free blue cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Clean the breast, leaving fat on one side. Mix the brine ingredients in a medium bowl. Brine for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.

Bake potatoes whole after poking holes in them with a fork. Typically, 45 minutes on 375F will do it. Allow potatoes to cool before cutting open. Scoop insides out and retain skins. In a medium size bowl, mash the potatoes with the sour cream and blue cheese. Re-fill the potato skins with the mashed mixture and top with shredded cheese. Bake again at 375F for 20 minutes while covered in foil. Remove foil and bake at 425F for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove and prepare to serve.

While the potatoes are baking, prepare the duck breast. In a large skillet, brown the breast 4-5 minutes on each side or until medium-rare (or longer, as  you prefer). Note that over-cooked game gets a “gamey” taste and is a common mistake in cooking game. Slice the duck breast to serve.

Plate the potato with a large bed of greens and top with duck breast. Dress with the vinaigrette and serve at a candle-lit table.


photo (10)

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