It’s that time again! Want to think of something different to cook? Roasting a turkey is all very well if you have enough people to finish it. Turkey leftovers deserve a cookery book to themselves – especially the frozen variety which turn to particle board when heated up!
Here are a couple of recipes for you to consider and some wines to match. The first is Janie’s “Thanksgiving Roast Duck” and the second is her “Wild Vegetarian Thanksgiving”.
First though make sure you have some really cold Tiamo Prosecco in the refrigerator and open it up and taste a lot of it before anyone else arrives in the kitchen!
Thanksgiving Roast Duck
If you have a frozen duck, take the duck out of its plastic wrap and remove any extra fat by cutting it from around the cavity. Wash it inside and out in cold water and rub it all over with about 1 cup salt including plenty inside the cavity. Immerse it in cold water to just cover it for at least 12 hours. This will make up for its loss of moisture during the freezing process. This is a must for frozen chicken or turkeys too. You will have a much moister bird as a result.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 2-3 lb duck
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 peeled onion
- 3 sage leaves or 1 tsp dried leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbs honey or maple syrup mixed with the juice and zest of an orange
- optional – 1/4 tsp hot chili powder
Set your oven to 425F. Strain the duck and pat dry. Chop the celery and onion roughly and mince the garlic. Toss in a bowl with minced sage leaves and season well with salt and black pepper. Stuff inside the cavity of the duck and place on a rack in a roasting pan breast side up. Add 2 cups boiling water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and then, pushing away from you with the back of a large kitchen knife, rub the skin of the duck until you have pushed out a lot of the duck fat into the pan. Remove the duck to a plate and pour off all the fat and juice into a bowl and reserve.
Return the duck to the roasting pan and brush all over with honey or maple syrup mix. Bake it for another 40 mins brushing the duck every 10 minutes or so with your honey/orange mix. If the duck is browning too much replace the foil. Place duck on a warm serving platter and pour any remaining juice from the pan into a saucepan. Scoop out the vegetables from the cavity and add to the saucepan. Boil down to a syrup and add a glass of red wine (or cider mixed with 1 tbs vinegar) and simmer for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, skim off most of the fat from the steaming liquid you kept aside in a bowl and add the stock to the gravy in the saucepan. Cook for 5 mins and adjust seasoning. Sieve into a gravy boat. The duck will be crisp on the outside and fall away from the bone in the center. Deleeeshious!
Serve with Tiamo Chianti, Tortoise Creek Pinot Noir or Tortoise Creek Cabernet. Try putting whichever one you choose in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. I feel that we often tend to drink our red wines too warm and our whites too cold.
Wild Vegetarian Thanksgiving
This is a delicious and festive stuffed puff pastry and rice dish and will serve between 6 and 8 people. You can add any of your favorite veggies to it before serving. There are two parts to the dish.
Part one: The rice
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
- 2 1/4 cups water
Use jasmine rice which is available in most well appointed supermarkets or specialty stores. It originated in Thailand and does, indeed, smell of jasmine flowers when cooked. It is one of the easiest rice products to cook and is well worth finding for special occasions.
Just pour the water over the rice in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover very tightly (I put a sheet of aluminum or greaseproof paper under the lid and press it down firmly) and simmer at lowest heat for 25 mins without stirring or uncovering. Do not add any salt as you will be seasoning the rice later. Leave to cool in the pot.
Part two: Stuffing and wrapping the rice in pastry
- 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit – currants, cranberries, chopped apricots and apples
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts – cashews, pecans or roasted peanuts are best
- 4-6 chopped scallions
- Grated zest of a lime
- 2 sticks finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup green beans chopped into small circles crosswise
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbs sesame oil or peanut oil
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
Defrost the pastry to room temperature and place sheets on a floured board.
Roll out longwise to half again its length with quick even strokes.
Place onto lightly oiled baking sheet and then brush all over with water or milk.
Mix all above ingredients with the cooked jasmine rice in a bowl with a fork and season with salt to taste. Make sure the peanut oil is well incorporated so that your rice does not stick together.
Mound the rice mixture along center of the pastry leaving 2 inches clean at each end )to allow the pastry to “puff”! . Roll out second sheet exactly the same as above and place over the top pressing edges together tightly all round rice filling. Turn up edge of pastry all around the four sides. Brush with milk or beaten egg and milk. You can refrigerate the finished “log” for several hours if needed.
Place the “log” in the oven preheated to 425F for 30-40 mins until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately and slice crosswise.
If you want a sauce to go with this festive dish, I suggest you puree up a pineapple cut into chunks in your food processor. When it is well blended add 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons celantro, 1/2 peeled and seeded jalapeno pepper or a pinch of chili powder. Warm in small saucepan. The spicy acidity of the sauce complements the woody taste of the wild mushrooms and the sweetness of the yams and rice log.
Serve with Mont Gravet White from Gascony or our Tortoise Creek Chardonnay or indeed any other wine that you like but preferably one of ours!