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Season by Season with Chris Fennimore
Organized by spring, summer, fall and winter, this collection includes 36 months of Chris' recipes from Pittsburgh Magazine as well as many of his personal reflections.
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BRAISED DUCK WITH APPLE CIDER AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE

From: Chef Mark Collins, Le Pommier Bistro Français
Primary category: Steel City Chefs

INGREDIENTS:
For the braising Day One:

2 5-6 pound ducklings (Maple Leaf Farms ducks, the same we use, are available at Giant Eagle)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 pieces thick cut bacon
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cups apple cider
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For finishing, Day Two:
1 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/2 pound fingerling potatos
1/2 pound haricots verts or green beans
4 pieces thick cut bacon, oven-crisped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
Day One:
Preheat oven to 375° F
Break down the duck the same way you break down a chicken. In this dish, the duck should be quartered, retaining the two leg-thigh portions and the two breasts with the wings attached or partially removed so that the drum stick remains. Trim away any excessive fat. Pat dry with a papertowel. Generously season with pepper and salt.
Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working one duck at a time, brown the breasts and legs skin side down for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to large roasting pan. In same pan, sauté onion, carrot and celery for 3-5 minutes. Add to roasting pan. Drain fat from the sauté pan. Add wine and cider and bring to a boil and add to roasting pan, along with bay leaves, peppercorns and raw bacon slices. Add enough water to completely cover the ducks. Cover and braise for 3 1/2 - 4 hours. After cooking, carefully remove the pieces with a slotted spoon (note: they will be tender and quite fragile). Set aside. Strain the braising liquid into a pot, bring to a boil and reduce by a third. Place the duck pieces into the liquid and chill overnight.
The fingerling potatoes can be boiled and the beans blanched and chilled overnight.
Day Two:
Preheat oven to 375° F
Overnight, fat will have solidified on the surface of the braised duck. Remove as much as possible. In a large sauce pan, add the potatoes and apple to the duck and sauce and bring to a boil. Put in over for 10-15 minutes to thoroughly heat. Remove from oven, put back on the stove and reduce the liquid by a third. Over medium-high heat, incorporate the crème fraîche and 4 tbsp butter to the braising liquid. Slightly reduce liquid to achieve a velvety consistency. Salt and pepper if necessary.
In separate sauté pan, reheat the beans in tbsp of butter.
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL INFO:
The duck can be served individually by arranging the fingerlings in a shallow bowl along with the duck and beans. Pour sauce over dish and garnish with bacon and apples. The dish can also be served on a large platter for self service with the sauce in a gravy boat. Enjoy with a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire such as a 2005 Old Vine Pouilly Fumé from Domaine Regis Minet. Bon Appetit!

ingredients(s): apple, bacon, duck,

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