Roasted Duck and Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving

Chef for McEvoy Ranch pairs duck with house pinot noir

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Pinot noir both balances the duck’s fattiness while matching its sweetness.

Tired of turkey breast and chardonnay?

For this Thanksgiving, Mark Rohrmeier would like for you to consider roast duck instead, matched with a pinot noir produced by McEvoy Ranch in California’s Marin County where Rohrmeier works as chef.

McEvoy Ranch is the country’s largest producer of organic olive oil. They recently began making small-production, estate-produced wine from organically-grown fruit as well.

“The McEvoy ‘Evening Standard’ Pinot Noir works perfectly with the duck because it has the acidity to cut the fat of the duck while yielding the classic pinot sweetness to match juicy, rare duck breast and the baked marinade,” Chef Rohrmeier says.

The wine is called “The Evening Standard” as a McEvoy family ancestor founded the San Francisco Chronicle. The McEvoy Marin County Pinot Noir 2012 — which costs about $43 — has rounded, ripe-cherry fruit with the varietal notes of sweet sassafras roots and cola. It has sufficient weight to balance the palate heft of the roast duck.

Chef Rohrmeier’s duck recipe is simple:

The day before the meal, wash a Peking or Long Island duck thoroughly inside and out and pat dry. Cut out fat pockets in the cavity and perforate skin with the tip of a sharp paring knife all over the duck. Secure the neck flap with a couple of tooth picks. Rub the duck’s cavity with salt, pepper, and orange zest to taste. Quarter an orange and an onion and insert into the cavity of the duck. Tie the legs together and put in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, pull the duck out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, combine and heat a cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons of honey, and one each of molasses and orange zest to serve as a marinade after it has slightly thickened.

Over the next two hours, turn and baste the duck regularly with the marinade, skimming off excess fat. The duck will be ready for serving when the temperature in the fattest part of the leg reads 165 degrees F. Let the duck rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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For more information on the wines and this meal, take a look at the McEvoy Ranch website.