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Braised Duck with a Lapsang Souchong Reduction

While R and his friend were busy working on their science fair project, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I logged a couple of hours watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks together. 

"Let's make duck," he declared yesterday afternoon. "You do the duck and I'll make the kale salad for dinner. Does that sound good?" That sounds great. I love having a partner in my kitchen shenanigans. 

After making Lapsang Souchong Blondies last week - and having Jake comment that he thought the intense, smoky flavor would go better with a savory - I thought I'd make a lapsang souchong sauce for my duck. It was well-received by my three. What do you think? Do you cook with tea often?



Ingredients
Braised Duck
  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 large onions, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 2 C diced celery root
  • 1-1/2 C stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 C brewed lapsang souchong tea
  • 1 shisho blossom
Lapsang Souchong Reduction
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 4 C brewed lapsang souchong tea
  • 3 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of anise seeds
  • pinch of Szechuan peppercorns
  • pinch of cardamom
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh shisho blossoms, for garnish

Procedure

Braised Duck
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a Dutch oven, place duck legs, skin side down. Turn heat to medium. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the fat is rendered and the skin golden and crisped. Flip to the other side and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the duck to a plate. Place the onions, fennel, and celery root in the Dutch oven. Lay the browned duck pieces on top. Pour in the stock, brewed tea, and add the shiso blossom. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. Braise for 90 minutes.

Raise the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees. Return the duck to the oven, uncovered and roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the duck is browned and the skin on top crispy.


Lapsang Souchong Reduction
While duck is in the oven, make the sauce. Place all of the ingredients - except the shisho blossom - in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to one quarter its original. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Set aside; keep warm.

To serve, plate the duck. Spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with a fresh shisho blossom.

    

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