This recipe features “Love Rub” – another way to incorporate our Valentine’s Day theme into your wine and food experience. But don’t pigeon hole this recipe and make it just once a year, it is delicious and memorable any time of the year.
“Love Rub” originally came from Jim Reichardt, founder and proprietor of Sonoma County Poultry, home of the Liberty Ducks (800-953-8257, and yes, they ship nation-wide). Though one may find humor in that name for ducks who are hardly at liberty to die a natural death, the death they encounter is more humane than most natural causes. Jim founded the company in response to local Chefs, who needed a larger and more flavorful duck on their customer’s plates. The Liberty Duck is descended from the famed Pekin Duck developed in Denmark, and is better suited to today’s slower, less stressful rearing techniques (to wit, Jim uses no growth hormones or antibiotics.)
To make this rub, simply blend everything together until well combined. Pairs beautifully with aged cabernet or pinot noir.
|“Love Rub” INGREDIENTS|
|¼ Cup brown Sugar||1 tsp Cumin|
|2 Tbsp Paprika (sweet, not hot)||1 tsp Ground white pepper|
|2 Tbsp Kosher salt||½ tsp Ground black pepper|
|1 Tbsp dried Thyme||½ tsp Coriander|
|1 Tbsp chili powder||¼ tsp Ground nutmeg|
|2 tsp Dried oregano||Small pinch cayenne pepper|
|1 tsp Chinese 5-spice blend||¼ tsp Cinnamon|
Ingredients (Serves Four)
* 4 breasts, Liberty Duck
* ¼+ Cup Love Rub
* That’s all!
Trim the duck breasts of excess fat – no more than ¼ to ½ inch around the entire breasts – but not too much, as you want the rendering fat to add flavor during cooking. Place breasts in a large, sealable plastic storage bag, pour in the love rub, and integrate well. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to prepare dinner, remove from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Place fat-side-down on the grill using indirect heat – slow cooking is the key to perfectly cooked duck breast. After 8-10 minutes, turn fat-side up and cook until medium rare. Do not overcook. Breast meat is lean “white” meat, and prone to drying out if over-cooked.
To serve, slice at an angle and sprinkle lightly with more Love Rub.
Dave the Wine Merchant