PLEASURE YOURSELF

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Mr. Alpenglow typically cooks to bring pleasure to friends and family. Tonight he cooked to pleasure himself. And it was good.

DUCK BRAISED WITH PRUNES & ARMAGNAC
(serves 4; adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse)

4 duck legs
1 large onion, diced
4 shallots, peeled and halved
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic smashed
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup Armagnac
24 pitted prunes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350. Season the duck with salt and pepper. On the stovetop, sear the duck in a large cast iron pot on medium-high heat, about 6 minutes each side. Set the duck aside. Drain half of the duck fat. Add the onions, shallots, carrots, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Saute for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Then add the tomato paste, wine, Armagnac, and prunes. Finally, place the duck back into the pot, skin-side up. Cover with foil. Bake for about 1.5 hrs. Before serving (the next day is best), place the duck under the broiler briefly to crisp skin. Serve it on top of the braised vegetables and sauce.

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