My Itinerary:



5 Spice Duck Breast, Parsnip Puree, Butter Poached Baby Carrots and Broccoli with Stewed Cranberries
Courtesy of Chef Nicolena Teodorski of Burbank Ranch Winery & Bistro.  

Serves 4


Parsnip Puree:

2 medium parsnips
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
White pepper

Broccoli & Carrots:
1 head of broccoli
4 carrots (or 8 baby carrots)

Stewed Cranberries:
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ cup OJ
Zest of 1 Orange

Duck Breast:
4 small duck breasts
Chinese 5 Spice
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh thyme


Parsnip Puree:

Peel parsnips and chop into even chunks, add to a medium sauce pan and cover with heavy cream. Boil until fork tender (just as you would if making mashed potatoes) about 30 minutes. After the parsnips are very soft, strain them from the liquid and add them to the food processor. Reserve the liquid. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and blend in food processor, add reserved heavy cream until desired creaminess; the final product should be very smooth and creamy. Salt and white pepper to taste.

Broccoli & Carrots:
Cut the broccoli into desired flowerets, set aside for blanching. If using large carrots – peel, slice in half on a bias, or if you are super fancy, use a sharp pairing knife to create a Tourne knife cut (basically a 7 sided football). If using baby carrots – be sure the skin is peeled, set aside for blanching. Blanch and transfer to a Beurre Monte (about 1/2 cup water and lots and lots of butter emulsified in a sauté pan). The ratio of water to butter should be 25/75%.

Stewed Cranberries:
Add cranberries, sugar, OJ and water to a sauce pan. Simmer until tender and sweet. Stir often to prevent burning. Finish with the fragrant orange zest. (You may substitute wine for water, just be sure to cook off all the alcohol.)

Duck Breast:
Score the thick duck breast skin, making # marks. Season generously with Chinese 5 spice, salt and pepper. Place in non-greased pan (the duck fat will render quickly, giving ample grease. Be sure to reserve the duck fat! It’s a treasured fat!) at medium heat, don’t be tempted to turn up the heat…Don’t do it. Let the skin render until caramelized and crispy, add 2 tablespoons  of butter and thyme sprigs and baste the duck. After basting the duck, finish cooking in an oven at 350 until desired doneness (about 7 minutes for medium rare or 130 degrees). Rest the meat for 5 minutes, slice thinly, serve and enjoy!! Yum!

Chef’s Note: This is an amazing holiday dish, as well as any sophisticated fall dinner! The effort in this dish is worth it in the end! Cheers!