Friday, November 9, 2012

RECIPE - Duck with Sauerkraut (Pato com chucrute)

It's a safe bet that the majority of this blog's readers never expected to find a recipe that included sauerkraut in a blog dedicated to exploring Brazilian cuisine and gastronomy. However, the recipe below for duck served with sauerkraut is authentically Brazilian. Like many other recipes that come from the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, the recipe came to Brazil with the thousands of German immigrants who settled in Santa Catarina in the early 20th century and over the course of the next hundred years became thoroughly Brazilianized - without losing their Teutonic heritage. Santa Catarina has Brazil's highest percentage of population who can trace their roots to Germany, and in the interior of the state there are many cities where German is commonly spoken and understood, along with Portuguese.

The recipe was created by a more recent German immigrant to Brazil, Heiko Grabolle, who was born in Germany and trained in that country, but who now lives in Florianopolis, the capital of Santa Catarina, where he teaches cooking and gastronomy.
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RECIPE - Duck with Sauerkraut (Pato com chucrute)
Serves 4

1 whole duck
2 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions
1 Fuji apple
1 lb. prepared sauerkraut
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
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Cooking the duck:
Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Season the duck inside and outside with salt and pepper. Place the duck in a non-stick roasting pan and roast the duck for two hours, basting the pieces every fifteen minutes with the accumulated pan juices. Remove from the oven and cut the duck into four serving pieces - two breasts and two legs.

Cooking the sauerkraut:
While the duck is roasting, chop the onion and peel, core and cube the apple. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and when the butter is hot add the onion and the apple. Cook for about five minutes or until the onions and apples are softened and the onion is transparent. Drain and rinse the sauerkraut, the add it to the pan. Pour the chicken broth and wine over, mix thoroughly and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauerkraut is done (The sauerkraut should have the consistency of risotto, neither soupy nor dry. It should be moist and creamy. Add a small amount of water if necessary during cooking to keep the sauerkraut moist). When the sauerkraut is done, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let rest for at least a half an hour for the flavors to develop.

Preparing the dish:
When the duck is close to being done, reheat the sauerkraut. Put a quarter of the sauerkraut on each of four dinner plates, and top with one of the pieces of duck. Accompany the duck with mashed or boiled potatoes, or with white rice.

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