Pizzeta of Preserved Duck, Balsamic Figs and Gorgonzola Cheese

Appetizer, Winner 2000 MLF Recipe Contest, Chef Adam J. Baird


Serving Size {6 servings}


Duck Confit:

1- 4 1/2 to 5 Lb Maple Leaf Farms Whole Duck, cut in half

1 Bunch Thyme Sprigs

1 Tbsp Red Anaheim Chili Flakes

4 Bay Leaves, crushed

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

2 Tbsp Lemon Peel, minced

2 Tbsp Crushed Black Peppercorns

2 cups Kosher Salt

As Needed To Cover Duck: Rendered Duck Fat

Pizza Dough:

1/4 cup Warm Water (110°F)

1/4 oz - 1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast

Pinch Sugar

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp each Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup Semolina Flour

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Water

As Needed All Purpose Flour

Balsamic Fig Marinade:

1/4 cup Each Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil

15 Figs Mission or Cadota Figs, halved, stem end removed

As Needed Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Fig & Port Wine Jam:

1 cup Mission or Cadota Figs, halved

2 cups Port Wine

1 Tbsp Sugar

As Needed Salt, Black Pepper

Apple & Celery Root Salad

1 cup Each Apples, Celery Root, julienne

2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar

1/8 cup Each Olive Oil, Walnut Oil

As Needed Salt and Black Pepper

As Needed Gorgonzola Cheese


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Duck Confit: Trim fat from breasts and legs. Carefully score skin. Combine next 6 ingredients; evenly pack on duck halves. Sprinkle salt over all sides of duck halves. Cure, covered in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator; scrape off cure mix. Rinse duck pieces gently under cold running water; dry. Heat fat to a simmer (180°F), carefully add duck pieces. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or until meat is fork tender. Remove duck from fat; cool. Remove skin and pull meat from bones; reserve separately.

Pizza Dough: Combine warm water and yeast; stir to dissolve. Add sugar; allow to set for 10 minutes. Stir in oil and herbs. Add both flours. While stirring with a wooden spoon, drizzle in 1 cup of water. Continue stirring as dough begins to form a ball. Sprinkle flat surface with extra flour. Knead dough for 4 to 5 minutes or until well combined and slightly elastic. Add flour, as needed, to prevent sticking. Lightly oil bowl and dough. Place dough in bowl; cover. Let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Punch down dough, knead slightly. Portion into 6 - 3 oz balls.

Balsamic Figs Marinade: Combine vinegar and oil. Add figs; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 2 hours.

Fig and Port Wine Jam: Combine figs and port. Simmer 1 hour or until port has reduced by half. Remove from heat and place into a bar blender. Add sugar, salt and pepper; pulse until smooth. Strain and reserve.

Apple and Celery Root Salad: Toss apples and celery root with vinegar and oils; season with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Roll out dough into thin rounds. Evenly spread duck, figs and cheese over dough. Bake 425°F for 10 minutes or until crisp. Toss salad; place in the middle of each pizzetta. Drizzle with fig and port jam. Serve hot or warm.

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