Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Cooking Day 1: Risotto with Duck and White Balsamic Vinegar

A week before Christmas and I intend on making a wonderful dinner each night.  I have planned the menus for weeks now...settling on ideas...changing my mind...settling on get the gist.  What I do know is that none of the recipes are new.  These are old, tried and true favorites.  Some have become traditions in our tiny household.  Crab hash with poached eggs for Christmas Eve morning, duck confit with sautéed potatoes, etc.  There are some changes this year...instead of fondue for Christmas dinner, we are having Raclette.   There are some other changes this year.  My sister will be celebrating with us.  She reminded me yesterday that we probably have not celebrated Christmas together since we were in college...and I will not tell you how many years ago that was.  It is so nice to have her near and we are all looking forward to spending the holiday with her.

I want to post each day the recipe from the night before and we shall see how far we get.  If anything, it will document for myself the dinners so as the years go by, I can just look them up!  Last night's dinner was prepped by me but made by Cate and Jamie.  Cate, of course, made the risotto and Jamie made the duck.  When we lived in Belgium, duck was so prevalent.  Here in the US, it is a luxury.  In this recipe, a little goes a long way.  We cooked two breasts but could have served it for three people with just one.  A smooth red wine goes really well with the this case, we opened one of our treasured Austrian wines, a Zweigelt.

Risotto with Duck and White Balsamic Vinegar
From Bon Appetit

Risotto with Duck and White Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 4


3T unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 duck breasts

1.  Melt 2 T butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes until tender.  Add rice; stir 2 minutes.  Add wine, stir until almost all liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes.  Add one cup broth; simmer until absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 1/2 cups broth in 1/2 cup intervals; stirring often and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until mixture is creamy, about 18 minutes longer.  Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup cheese, vinegar and 1T butter.  Season risotto with salt and pepper.
2.  Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle each duck breast with salt and pepper. Add duck, skin side down, and cook until fat is rendered and skin is brown, about 8 minutes.  Turn duck over and cook about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare.  Transfer duck to work surface and rest (covered with foil) for 5 minutes.  Pour off fat but do not clean skillet.  Add remaining 1 cup of broth to skillet and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup about 5 minutes.  
3.  Slice duck diagonally.  Spoon risotto into warm, shallow bowls.  Fan sliced duck atop risotto, drizzle pan sauce around duck and sprinkle additional Parmesan on top.  Serve.


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