As Chukar’s “resident chef” and baker at the Pike Place Market store, Assistant Manager Alyson Lenhoff is the go-to gal for recipes, culinary tips, and the occasional treat she brings to work to share. Over the last two holiday seasons, many customers have asked about using Chukar’s fruit sauces to make savory cherry-based sauces for Muscovy duck, pork loin roasts, or turkey. Though seemingly an unlikely tango of flavors, Alyson decided to give it a go:
Making a dessert sauce savory? Sounds like a challenge! The Sour Cherry Dessert Sauce – nearly as sour as it is sweet – was a natural candidate for a savory sauce, and I imagined its luscious liquid would make an excellent gravy or glaze on roasted duck leg.
Working at one of the best markets in the world has its perks. I headed over to Don & Joe’s Meats for fresh duck legs, where an old-fashioned feel and the obliging gentlemen that work there add nostalgic charm. They have just about every kind of meat imaginable, or they can special order anything not on hand. Next, over to my favorite produce stand, Choice Produce & Pepper, for my herbs and vegetables. I always go see Jay whenever I need to restock my fridge with fresh and seasonal veggies.
Prior to making this dish, I believed duck legs were hard to cook. But after successfully cooking duck legs in my home kitchen, I can tell you that they aren’t as intimidating as they seem. In this recipe the slightly sweet flavor of duck pairs so wonderfully with the cherries that I find myself sopping up the sauce with each bite. You can customize the dish for every palate too: try using your favorite herb instead of rosemary, and feel free to include a different assortment of vegetables. I can’t imagine anything not tasting delectable after being roasted in duck fat!
This culinary challenge reminded me of how Chukar products can spark creativity in the kitchen. I am amazed by the countless ways I can integrate Chukar into my meals. As always, I am at Pike, ready to help out with cooking-related questions or to take on a new culinary challenge.
© 2012 – 2014, Chukar Cherry Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Roasted Duck Legs with Sour Cherry Sauce
By January 12, 2012Published:
- Yield: 2 Servings
As Chukar’s “resident chef” and baker at the Pike Place Market store, Assistant Manager Alyson Lenhoff is the go-to gal for …
- 2 legs duck
- 4 sprigs rosemary fresh
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 large potatoes sliced ¼ inch thick
- 3 carrots sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 bulb fennel sliced
- ½ cup red wine
- 3 tablespoons Sour Cherry Dessert Sauce
- Rinse duck legs and pat dry. Score the skin with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut down to the meat to insure that the skin will crisp up.
- Place the rosemary and garlic cloves on the bottom of a baking dish that is large enough so that duck legs lie flat without overlapping. Put the duck legs on the bed of rosemary, skin side up, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place entire dish in un-preheated oven, and set temperature to 300 degrees F. As the oven warms up gradually, the duck fat will slowly melt and self-baste. Leave to roast in oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and separate duck legs from fat. Set aside. Reserve seasoned duck fat, rosemary, and garlic for the roasted root vegetables.
- Next, toss the vegetables in the duck fat (complete with rosemary and garlic). Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- Duck legs should be returned to the oven and placed under the broiler (500 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 5 minutes prior to serving to allow for a light reheating and to crisp the skin (keep an eye to make sure they do not brown too much).
- Finally, pour the red wine into a sauce pan. Add the Sour Cherry Dessert Sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Right before serving, top roasted dug legs with sour cherry sauce and serve with vegetables.
- Course: Entrée
Montmorency Tart cherries from Northwest orchards add a sweet and tangy finish to ice cream and pound cake.