Roast Duck

Roast Duck with crispy skin and tender juicy meat is an Autumn treat. When served along side sauerkraut and bread dumplings with a hearty mushroom gravy you have a hearty, old school, ethnic meal.

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Roast Duck
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Serves 2

1 3 lb duck, halved
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

One day before roasting the duck halves place them on a baking sheet with a wire rack, skin-side up, and refrigerate uncovered to allow any excess blood to drain and the skin to dry out a bit.

One hour before roasting remove the duck halves and sprinkle the skin generously with salt and allow to stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 250F, for convection roasting, if you have that setting.

Turn the duck halves to skin-side down. Roast for 60 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 375F. Flip the ducks to skin-side up and roast for another 60 minutes or until the skin is brown and crispy and the internal temperature reaches 175F. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms and New Potatoes

Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms and New Potatoes is a perfect dish for the chilly evenings of Fall in the Midwest. This one-dish meal is very easy to prepare. Add some warm bread to sop up the braising liquid and relax by the fireplace.

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Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms and New Potatoes
(Mark Kelly, 2014)

Serves 4

4 3/4-inch-thick bone-in pork chops
4 Tbsp flour
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium, fat free chicken stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
12 new potatoes, quartered
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Season both sides of each pork chop with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. In batches, brown the pork chops on both sides. Set aside.

In the same Dutch oven, saute the onions for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, cook until they release their liquid and begin to brown slightly. Add carrots and white wine and deglaze. Add stock and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by about half. Add tomato paste, potatoes, oregano and thyme. Re-season with salt and pepper. Submerge the pork chops in the braising liquid. Cover and braise over low heat for at least 30 minutes.

Serve in shallow bowls with warm, crusty bread.

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