Roasted Duck with Wild Rice & Sausage Stuffing

What a wonderful holiday! It makes me sad that it is over. This meal was our Christmas Eve dinner. Last year we had duck, and liked it so much it is becoming a Christmas Eve tradition. Last year, I focused on rosemary, orange, and onion. This year I tried a wild rice stuffing at my mom's request. Our 2011 duck was fantastic (even better than the previous year). This recipe is so delicious, and very easy. I didn't get a chance to get a picture before we carved the duck, so please excuse the platter picture! We served our duck with wild rice stuffing, and Van Abel's green beans. Perfect beginning to a Christmas celebration. I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday.

2 6-7 lb ducks
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
3/4 lb mild italian sausage
2 golden delicious apples, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 white onion, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 oz pecan pieces
2 Tbl fresh thyme
2 Tbl italian parsley
1 tsp black pepper
salt & pepper for ducks
2 medium roasting pans, or 1 large (for ducks)

Cook wild rice according to package instructions and set aside.

Remove duck from refrigerator. Allow duck to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. With a fork, prick the skin without piercing the meat. This will allow the fat to drain off while the ducks cook.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large rimmed skillet, brown sausage till it is completely cooked. Add apple, celery, and onion. Cook till tender (about 10  minutes).  Add wine, herbs, and pepper. Continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Gently fold rice into sausage mixture and remove from heat. Allow stuffing to cool.

Stuff the ducks equally with the wild rice stuffing and place in the roasting pan. Salt and pepper the outside of the ducks. Place duck in the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees (about 2-2 1/2 hours) basting with the drippings every 30 minutes. Allow the duck to rest for for 10-15 minutes before carving.

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