Ok, guys, don’t let the long name put you off. Basically, this is risotto made with a deep, fruity red wine, seared duck breast and a sharp fat-bomb sauce drizzled all around. A little bit of time involved for the setup, but it's well worth it. Amarone is probably my favorite wine, and this recipe was why I purchased the cookbook, "The Good Grape" by Bruno Barbieri. We made this for a friend’s birthday dinner and it was a hit.
Risotto all'Amarone with Wild Duck Soffritto and Morlacco Fonduta
8 ½ oz (240g) Carnaroli Rice
4 cups (8 dl) chicken broth
½ cup (1 dl) Amarone
1 ¾ oz (50g) Parmigiano, grated
1 ¾ oz (50g) unsalted butter
2 wild duck breasts
½ cup (1 dl) Amarone
¼ cup (.5 dl) chicken broth
Mixed herbs (bay leaf, sage, rosemary)
Freshly ground nutmeg
1 ¾ oz (50 g) unsalted butter
7 oz (200 g) Morlacco del Grappa*
1 ½ cups (3 dl) whipping cream
1. Duck Soffritto – Eviscerate the duck and flame to remove all traces of pinfeathers. (Note from Marc: I just bought Muscovy duck breasts at the butcher for this. I am way too much of a sissy to eviscerate a freakin’ duck.) Cut the breasts into bite-sized cubes and sauté them in the butter along with the thinly sliced shallots and the herbs. Deglaze with the amarone and allow it to evaporate completely before adding the chicken broth. Allow to reduce for 2 minutes and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Keep warm.
2. Morlacco Fonduta – Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add the Morlacco reduced to small pieces. Mix thoroughly with an immersion blender until the sauce is fluid and homogenous. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Risotto – Melt half the butter in a casserole over medium-high heat and add the rice. Stir to coat and toast the individual grains. Deglaze with the Amarone and allow it to evaporate completely before adding the simmering chicken broth, a ladle at a time, as the liquid is absorbed by the rice. When the risotto has completed cooking (16-18 minutes), remove from heat, salt if necessary and blend in the remaining butter and the grated Parmigiano.
4. Presentation – Divide the risotto among four serving plates, top with the duck soffritto and nap with the Morlacco fonduta.
*Morlacco del Grappa is a cow’s milk cheese produced in the Veneto and Friuli regions with a firm texture and a few widely distributed “eyes”. Its delicate flavor carries just a tinge of bitterness providing good contrast to sweet and fruity notes. Marc’s Note: I was unable to find this cheese at the local Italian market, so opted instead for a firm white cow’s milk cheese with a tangy “bite” to it, from the same region. The cheese I picked up (at DeLaurenti, for those of you on my recipe distribution list who live in Seattle) was Piave Vecchio, from Veneto.