Roast Duck with Cherries and Braised Red Cabbage

“The cinnamon, cranberry and orange in the cabbage make for a nice pairing with the Redemption Zin, but it is a wine that also calls out for some fat. A roast duck is the perfect accompaniment to round out this pairing.”
– Harry Wetzel, Head of Operations/Family Partner

– Serves 4 to 6 –

Ingredients:
One 5-6 lb. duck
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups cranberry-blackberry juice
1 3/4 cups Redemption Zinfandel
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 an orange, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups dried cherries
1 Granny Smith apple, halved, cored and sliced
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Method of Preparation:
Melt butter in a large pot, add the cabbage and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the dried cherries, ½ cup wine, 3 sprigs thyme, cranberry-blackberry juice, vinegar, sugar, orange slices and 1 cinnamon stick. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the cabbage is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. Once the cooking time expires, remove the thyme stems, orange slices and cinnamon stick. (This can be done in advance, allowed to cool, refrigerated and reheated prior to serving.)

For the duck, remove anything in the cavity, then sprinkle the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the duck with the sliced apple and the remaining thyme, dried cherries and cinnamon stick. Tie the legs together to help close the cavity and sprinkle the duck with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and put into an oven set at 450˚ for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚ and continue roasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Remove the fat from the roasting pan then place the pan over a burner at medium-low heat and add the remaining 1 ¼ cup of red wine. Scrape up any of the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and allow the wine to reduce to a little more than a ½ cup. Add the liquid from the pan to the finished (or reheated) cabbage, taste, then adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve the cabbage alongside the carved duck and garnish with a few fresh thyme leaves.