Wine Braised Duck with Zesty Olive Gremolata | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

Yield: Serves 2, with leftovers.
Time Estimate: 2 1/2 Hours, including 2 unattended.
Storage Notes: Best if enjoyed immediately, will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Difficulty: Easy.

Celebrate the changing of the seasons with this knockout dish: impossibly crispy & well seasoned duck skin atop juicy wine braised meat, topped with a zippy acidic gremolata and accompanied by brightly colored al dente pasta in a rich red duck sauce. This one's a celebration on a plate: not something you'll make everyday, but one that you'll remember long after the last bite.


  • 1 Whole duck, broken down into breasts and legs (we love the Muscovy from D'Artagnan)
  • 1 Box dried pasta (monnezzaglia, with all it's different shapes and colors, is lovely for this dish).
  • 1 Tin Wine Country Raspberry & Garlic Seasoning
  • 10 Tbs Fancy AF Seasoning
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 White onion
  • 1/2 Cup diced celery
  • 1/2 Cup peeled and diced carrots.
  • 8 Cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Tin peeled San Marzano tomatoes (about 14 oz)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 Cups no/low sodium chicken or duck stock
  • 1 Cup red wine (we used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1/2 Tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Cup finely minced parsley
  • 1/2 Cup rough chopped pitted green olives
  • Break down your duck, reserving the breast and legs for this dish, and remainder for another purpose. Trim excess overhanging fat, then score legs and breasts in a cross hatch pattern, taking care not to cut all the way down to the meat.
  • In large ceramic baking dish, drizzle olive oil over duck, then pour over the whole tin of Wine Country Raspberry and Garlic Seasoning, massaging  all over breasts and legs.
  • Cover and rest with a damp cloth for 30 minutes to 1 hour, and begin preheating the oven to 380F.
  • Ensure that the breasts and legs are skin side up and not overlapping, then pop in the oven and roast uncovered for 45 minutes.
  • While your duck is undergoing it's first cook, mince onion and garlic, and open the can of San Marzano tomatoes. Peel carrot, lop off ends of celery and carrots, mince, and reserve.
  • Remove duck from the oven, and strain fat into a large sauce pot.
  • Bring up to high heat and add onions and 4 Tbs Fancy AF Seasoning, stirring occasionally and sweating for about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium, and add in carrots, celery, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add in San Marzano tomatoes, red wine, stock, 5 more Tbs Fancy AF Seasoning, and cook until the sauce returns to temperature. Use a wooden spoon to smash up the tomatoes, stir the sauce, then lay in duck breasts and legs, again with the skin side up.
  • Cover, further reduce heat to medium-low, and braise for for 45 minutes.
  • Return oven to temperature, again 380F.
  • To make the gremolata, zest lemons into a medium bowl then juice, taking care to remove any seeds that fall in. Dice olives and mince parsley, discarding stems, and add, along with the slightest dash of fish sauce.
  • Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Remove sauce pot from heat, and return breasts and legs to the baker that they first cooked in.
  • Pour sauce over and around, stopping before the skin of the breasts or the rounds of the legs are covered. Reserve sauce for the pasta later, or another dish.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water up to a rolling boil.
  • Return the baker to the oven for the final cook, this time for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the skin is just beginning to brown and blister. Add dried pasta to the pot when you have about 10-12 minutes remaining.
  • Remove duck from the oven, and strain your pasta, reserving about 1/2 Cup of pasta water.
  • Plate duck breasts and legs, the spoon over chilled olive gremolata.
  • Return strained pasta to pot, adding in pasta water and the reduced sauce, topping up with more sauce as desired.
  • Toss pasta in this rich red duck sauce, plating alongside breasts and legs.
  • Serve with generous pours of the Cab, clink glasses with your very fortunate dinner companion, and devour.

If you'd like to check out the rectangular baker used in this recipe, head over to Emile Henry, and while you're at it, take 20% off with code 'GV20'.