Tart Cherry Braised Duck Legs with Parsnip & Potato Purée

This recipe is from our friends at Peyrassol Café at Southport in Renton, Washington. AVV’s Western Regional Manager Stewart Vandenberg often spends time in the Seattle area. When not working, he enjoys walking by the lake in Gene Coulon Park, which also happens to be close to one of his favorite restaurants, Peyrassol Café. Chef Sachia Tinsley creates her ever changing menu from locally sourced farm to table items and features Sin Zin with this recipe. Give it a try and if you are ever in the area, stop by and enjoy her creations.

Ingredients for Duck Legs:
4 moulard duck legs with thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ cup dried tart cherries, soaked in ½ cup Sin Zin
2 tsp. quatre épices powder*
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup Sin Zin
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tsp. sea salt

* Preparation of quatre épices powder:
Stir together 2 tablespoons ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon
each ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Store in an airtight container
in a cool, dark place. You’ll use 2 teaspoons for this recipe.

Ingredients for Parsnip & Potato Purée:
3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped into cubes
3 medium parsnips, peeled & chopped into cubes
¼ cup half ‘n half
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt and white pepper

Method of Preparation of Duck Legs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat duck dry, rub with quatre épices and season with sea salt. In an oven-proof pan or dutch oven large enough to hold duck snugly, heat extra virgin olive oil until hot. Add duck with skin side down and sear over medium heat until browned, approximately 7 minutes. Turn legs over and brown on other side, approximately 3 minutes. Remove duck from pan and set aside. Pour off excess fat so that 1 tablespoon remains. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add thyme, bay leaves, Sin Zin and broth and bring to a simmer. Add salt and legs with skin side up, cover with a tight lid, transfer to oven and cook for 1½ hours or until very tender.

Stir in Sin Zin soaked cherries after 1 hour. Remove thyme, bay leaves and duck from braising juices and skim off excess fat. Serve with warmed parsnip purée and braising juices.

Method of Preparation of Parsnip & Potato Purée:
Bring a pot filled with salted water to a boil. Add parsnips and boil for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and boil for an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Strain and add to a mixer. Cream mixture on medium speed with paddle attachment. Add butter, half ‘n half, and salt and pepper to taste.