Chris Bradley’s Favorite Winter Dish: Cider Braised Duck

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

Chris Bradley has been Phoenicia Diner‘s executive chef since May of this year. He picked his favorite winter dish, which is currently being considered for the new menu that comes out next week and it’s delicious. The duck was tender and juicy, the vegetables perfectly roasted and not salty. A gorgeous winter recipe that’s rib sticking, but won’t sit heavily in your stomach. Plus, it’s no longer a mystery as to how their grits are so utterly mouthwatering. Here’s the recipe for it.

Cider Braised Duck, Butternut Squash & Brussels Spouts
Serves 4

For the duck:

2 duck legs
2 oz olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
3 cups apple cider
3 cups duck (or chicken) stock
2 oz apple cider vinegar

Generously season duck legs with salt and pepper and let sit for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 325. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Pat the duck legs dry and then place skin side down in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until fat is rendered and skin brown. Remove from pan and place in a Dutch oven with the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cover the duck legs with the apple cider, stock and vinegar. Cover tightly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow duck legs to cool uncovered in the liquid. Pick the meat from the leg discarding skin and bones. Strain and reserve the braising liquid.

For the grits:

1 cup stone ground grits
2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded white cheddar

Mix the milk and water l in a heavy bottomed pan with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to occasionally stir the grits for 90 minutes adding more water if they become too thick. Once the grits are soft and creamy remove from the heat and add the cheddar cheese. Hold warm until ready to serve

For the garnish:

2 cups diced butternut squash
2 cups quartered Brussels sprouts
2 oz olive oil

Preheat over to 450. Toss the squash and sprouts with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until well caramelized and tender, about 15 minutes.

To serve:

2 oz unsalted butter
2 T chopped parsley

Place the duck leg meat, squash and sprouts in a sauté pan with 2 oz of braising liquid. Bring to a simmer and add the butter and chopped parsley, swirling the pan to fully incorporate the butter and liquid. Put 1 heaping spoonful of the grits in a bowl and top with duck and veggie mixture.

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

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