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April 7: Lunchbreak - Mexican Chocolate Linguini with Smoked Duck, Brandied Cherries and Shaved White Chocolate

Mercat a la Planxa
638 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago
(312) 765-0524
www.mercatchicago.com

To read more about the restaurant:

metromix.com

Mexican Chocolate Linguini with Smoked Duck, Brandied Cherries and Shaved White Chocolate(Recipe from Iron Chef America - Garces vs. Medina)
For the linguini:
7 1/2 cups "00" pasta flour
12 eggs
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups finely ground Mexican chocolate

Directions:
In a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, place all ingredients in the bowl and mix on low speed until well combined. Turn dough onto a floured work table and knead by hand until a smooth, shiny ball is formed, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes. When ready, roll into linguini noodles through a pasta roller and place on a sheet pan to dry out slightly.

For the smoked duck legs:

2 duck legs, confit (easily found at most specialty markets)
4 oz. hickory wood chips, soaked in water

Directions:
Using a range-top smoker, place wood chips in the smoking chamber and place smoker over high heat until chips begin to smolder. Place the legs on top of the rack and close the lid to the smoker. Cook for 10 minutes, or until legs are soft and tender and have absorbed good smoke flavor. Remove from the smoker and place on a plate to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the legs and place on a plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Mexican chocolate demi:

1 cup prepared demi-glace (easily found at specialty markets)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dark Mexican chocolate

Directions:
Melt demi-glace in a medium sauce pot over high heat. When demi comes to a simmer, add sherry and reduce by 1/4. Next, add the heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in the Mexican chocolate until incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside until ready to use.

To Assemble the dish:
1 recipe Mexican chocolate linguini
1 recipe smoked duck legs
1 recipe Mexican chocolate demi
1 Tbs chopped shallots
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup brandied cherries (available at specialty markets)
1 Tbs freshly chopped thyme
1 Tbs freshly chopped parsley
1 Tbs butter, unsalted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 oz. white chocolate

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season it with salt until it tastes like the ocean. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add the butter. Sauté garlic and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Add picked duck legs and sauté one minute, then add the demi and bring to a simmer. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for one minute, or until the pasta is perfectly al dente. Strain through a colander, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Place the noodles and the reserved pasta water in the sauté pan and cook with the other ingredients, tossing vigorously. When sauce has coated the pasta well, add the brandied cherries, thyme and parsley and toss once more to coat. Portion evenly into four bowls and grate the white chocolate on top. Serve immediately.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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