Roasted Duck Legs & Big Cork Vineyards Merlot
6 large whole duck legs (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup of Big Cork Vineyards Merlot
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
8 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup mixed dried fruit such as dried sour cherries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pitted prunes, and raisins
5 cups chicken broth
Accompaniment: buttered noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and season duck legs with salt and pepper.
2. In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold legs in one layer, cook legs, skin sides down, over moderately high heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin in scrip and mahogany colored, removing fat from kettle as it is rendered with a metal bulb baster (or very carefully tilting the kettle and spooning off). Turn legs over and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes, transferring to a plate.
3. Pour off fat from kettle and deglaze with wine, scraping up brown bits. Boil wine until reduced to a syrup and add garlic, thyme and 1/2 cup dried fruit. Return duck legs, skin sides up, to kettle and add broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and braise, uncovered, in oven 2 hours, or until legs are very tender. Transfer legs to a platter and keep warm.
4. Pour braising mixture into a 1-quart measuring cup and let stand until fat rises to the top. Skim off fat and pour liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing hard on solids. Boil liquid until reduced by about one third and slightly thickened and add remaining 1/2 cup dried fruit. Simmer sauce until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve duck legs with sauce and noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes. Pour remaining Big Cork Vineyards Merlot into glasses then cheers and enjoy!
Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine & Apple Napoleons
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons sugar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 bottle Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Place pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture. Carefully roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out eight 3 inch squares, and place on a parchment- lined baking sheet. Cover with more parchment and another baking sheet. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
2. Bake pastry in oven until crisp and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove top parchment and baking sheet. Transfer, with bottom parchment, to a wire rack, and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add remaining cinnamon mixture. Cook until apples are tender but not falling apart. Let cool completely. To assemble, top the pastry with whipped cream then apples; repeat with another layer of each. Serve immediately, pour glasses of Big Cork’s Ice Wine and cheers!
BIG CORK VINEYARDS WINS BIG AT 2014 WINE COMPETITIONS
Award-Winning Winery Recognized in Regional and National Wine Competitions
Rohrersville, MD – Big Cork Vineyards, nestled in Maryland’s Pleasant Valley just west of Frederick, today announced it won numerous awards in multiple wine competitions for 2014, including Best of Class for the 2013 Traminette at the Long Beach Grand Cru, Double Gold for the 2013 Russian Kiss at the Indy International Wine Competition, and Best in Show for the “Best Dessert” Vidal Ice at the Maryland Governor’s Cup. The vineyard is set to open its grand winery and new 4,000 square foot sunlit tasting room in late fall.