Collectively all over the globe we start to ponder the holiday season. It is a time of gratitude, reflection and celebration. My stream of culinary adventures, inspirations and pure love of cooking continues. There are only a couple of weekends left to our beloved Santa Fe farmers market. To take full advantage of the fall bounty, I gather my sugar pie pumpkins, the last of the Butternut Squash and contemplate the beautiful marriage of Roast duck legs with squash and blackberry and apple sauce. There is much elegance to this dish, at the same time it is rustic.
It is pleasing to the eye, full of autumnal color. Cooking the duck in a dutch oven gives you a moist succulent flesh, with the squash soaking up some of the herb seasoned duck fat.
Roast Duck Legs with Squash, Blackberry and Apple sauce
Whole black peppercorns
A winter squash (or what ever Squash is available)
1 pint Blackberrys ( or other berries if not available)
4 Apples ( recipe to follow )
8-10 sprigs of thyme
1. Pull the thyme leaves from their branches ( leave a couple for a garnish at the completion of the dish ) With a mortar and pestle, pound the thyme leaves with a half teaspoon of sea salt and the same amount of black peppercorns. Season the duck legs generously.
2. Put the duck legs in the dutch oven or casserole with a heavy bottom, on medium heat. Brown the duck legs on both sides. The skin should color to a pale amber, the fat should melt to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.
Half, seed and peel the squash, pulling away any course pieces. Cut the flesh into thick chunks evenly.
3. Tuck the pieces of squash alongside the duck legs with the bay leaves, turning them in the seasoned fat as you go. Cover with a lid, then turn the heat to low, and cook for 45-55 minutes until you can pull the flesh easily from the bone with a fork. Do not expect the skin to be crisp. Fragrant with thyme and meltingly tender, the squash will be at the point of collapse.
4. Transfer the duck legs and squash to a warm plate and serve with the blackberry and apple sauce.
Blackberry and Applesauce
In a small saucepan add Blackberrys and 1 Tbs. Cane Sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
Simmer until Blackberrys fall apart.
Apple Sauce –
You can make apple sauce any number of ways. You can steam them in a little water, or bake them whole in the oven. For this dish I choose the ladder. Core the apples before roasting or steaming.
The skin of the apples add color to the dish. I like mixing up the apples.
Being this is a fall dish, your local farmers market will have an abundant variety.
Fold the apples gently into the blackberry’s.
All ingredients are organically grown. The Duck is free range.