With nine days to go til Thanksgiving, I thought it would be a good time to cover another menu option. Yesterday I posted a traditional menu, today I want to talk about a more contemporary menu consisting of roast duck and lots of vegetables. This is a great menu for smaller get-togethers; duck doesn’t have as much meat like turkey. I also like it as a menu for people who go to multiple Thanksgiving dinners. It’s a nice break from the same old same old and it’s a little lighter. Almost all of the side dishes are vegetables and I don’t mean green bean casserole style vegetables. Since it’s a little lighter you can finish with a Milk Bar style Crack Pie, (almost) guilt-free! Lastly, it’s a great menu because it doesn’t take up quite so much time as a traditional menu does.
Roast Duck and Autumn Vegetables Menu
- Rosemary Roast Duck
- Parsnip Puree
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Apple Sauce
- Black Currant and Fig Sauce
- Butternut Squash and Apple Salad
- Balsamic Green Beans
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Milk Bar Crack Pie
How to Accomplish This Menu
This is a pretty manageable menu, I made everything here start to finish in about 4 hours. It could easily be done in less with a little prep ahead of time. Two days ahead you can make the crack pie, however, I prefer to do it the day of. It’s fine either way, I just think it’s best when it’s fresh. You can get ahead by making the vinaigrette for the salad and green beans as well as the applesauce for the brussels sprouts and the honey glaze for the carrots. One day ahead, peel and dice parsnips and shallots, store in an airtight container. Make the current and fig sauce, reheat it before dinner. Roast butternut squash. Clean and halve the brussels sprouts. The day of, all you have to do is roast the duck and put everything together. If you prep correctly you could easily make this entire dinner in 2-3 hours.
Rosemary Roast Duck
- 1 6lb Whole Duck
- Kosher Salt
- If you’re using a frozen duck, make sure the duck is completely defrosted and let it sit out of the fridge for at least two hours. You want the duck at room temp to ensure it cooks evenly all the way through.
- Heat oven to 350°F
- Using a sharp paring knife, slit the skin of the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Make sure you do not cut into the actual meat or it will become dry and tough.
- Combine salt and pepper and rub both the outside and inside of the duck. Make sure to get under the wings and legs.
- Using butchers twin or tin foil, tie the legs together and the wings to the body. Place the duck in a roasting pan, breast side up.
- Place in the oven with the legs facing the back. This ensures even cooking since the oven is hottest in the back.
- Roast the duck for 2-3 hours (20 minutes/lb) or until juices run light pink or clear. Light pink is medium, clear is well done. If juices are brown, the duck is overcooked.
- While the duck is roasting, rotate it every 30 minutes from breast side up to breast side down and then each side up.
- Cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes before serving.
- Save the duck fat in the roasting pan! It’s hard to find and expensive in stores, but it’s a great ingredient to have around the house.
- 3 Large Parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1 Small Shallot, minced
- 3 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Dry White Wine
- 2/3 C Heavy Cream
- Zest & Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1/2 C Vegetable Stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 Sprigs Rosemary
- In a large pot, melt butter and salt and saute shallot and parsnips until tender, aromatic, and slightly browned.
- Deglaze with white wine and lemon juice. Allow it to reduce slightly.
- Add heavy cream, vegetable stock, and rosemary.simmer until parsnips are soft and mashable, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove rosemary and mash and mix until a mashed potato consistency is reached.
- Serve hot.
Fig and Black Currant Sauce
- 1C Red Port Wine
- 1/2 C Fig Preserves
- 1/2 C Black Currant Syrup, if you can’t find this, you could also use pomegranate syrup.
- 2 TBSP Pomegranate syrup
- Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter and sautee herbs until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add port wine, fig preserves, and syrups. Reduce until thick.
- Remove herbs and season with lemon juice and zest.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Apple Sauce
- 2 Quarts Brussels Sprouts, Halved
- 1/2 C Orange Juice
- 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 1/4 C Sugar
- 1 TBSP Honey
- 5 Gala Apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- Salt to taste
- Canola oil, for frying.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat make an orange gastrique by combining orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until all sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook until it almost coats the back of a spoon.
- In a large pot, add apples, salt, and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn on medium heat and cover. Steam until apples are soft and mashable.
- Remove from pan and mash into a fine applesauce. Salt to taste.
- In a large pot, heat oil to 350°F and fry brussels sprouts until they just begin to brown. Remove them and in a bowl, toss them with the orange gastrique.
- Place the coated brussels sprouts back in the oil and continue to fry until browned and crispy.
- Remove and toss with applesauce.
- Serve hot.
Balsamic Green Beans
- 1 LB Fresh Green Beans
- 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 TBSP Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tsp Dried Tarragon
- 1 Tsp Dried Basil
- 1/2 C EVOO
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, add green beans, salt and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Steam the green beans until bright green and slightly softened but still have a little bite.
- In a blender, combine balsamic, sugar, salt, pepper, tarragon, and basil. Blend on high and drizzle in EVOO.
- Toss green beans in vinaigrette. Serve warm.
Honey Roasted Carrots
- 1 LB Tri-Color Baby Carrots, tops removed and cleaned
- 3/4 C Honey
- 3 TBSP EVOO
- 1/4 C Brown Sugar
- 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Combine honey, EVOO, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Toss honey glaze with carrots and place on sheet tray.
- Bake until carrots are tender but still have some bite, about 20 minutes.
- Cool slightly before serving.
If you use these recipes or any of my other recipes, let me know how it worked for you in the comments! I’d love to hear your feedback. For more Thanksgiving recipes and other fun recipes, be sure to follow me on WordPress, Instagram, or by email!
Thanks for reading!