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Duck with Grappa & Raisins

Serves 4
Brian Streeter
Pairs well with:
Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley

A glamorous, comforting dish from Chef Brian Streeter using grappa with roast duck. Pairs wonderfully with Cakebread Cellars Pinot Noir.


1 c. grappa
1/2 c. golden raisins
1 whole duck, approx. 5 lbs.
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 c. duck or chicken stock
salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 450°F. Cover the raisins with the grappa and set aside. To prepare the duck for roasting, remove the large pockets of fat from inside the cavity of the duck. Remove the fat from around the neck and chop the neck into one inch pieces, reserve. Cut off the last two joints of the wings. Cut in half and reserve with the neck pieces. Season the inside cavity and the outside of the duck with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine. Set duck in a large skillet on its side. Place in the top half of the oven and roast for ten minutes. Turn duck on its other side and return to the oven. After ten minutes turn duck breast side up, brush with the rendered fat in the pan. Drain off the excess fat and add the vegetables, cut up duck parts, garlic and sage to the pan. Turn the oven temperature down to 375°F. Return the pan to the oven and roast for another hour and ten minutes brushing occasionally with the fat in the pan. Duck is done when the skin is an even dark brown and if you pierce the leg the juices run clear. Remove to a platter or cutting board to rest while you make the pan sauce. Drain off all the fat from the pan, return to the top of the stove and place over high heat. Caramelize vegetables and bones on all sides. Strain the grappa off of the raisins. Take skillet off the heat and add the grappa. Be careful not to get the skillet too close to the flame as it is highly flammable. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any of the brown glaze. Reduce until almost dry. Add the duck or chicken stock and reduce down to a light sauce consistency. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add any juices that have accumulated from the duck along with the raisins. Return to a simmer and reserve.

To serve, slice duck and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with glazed turnips.

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