Change up your holiday dinner routine with this recipe for mole seasoned Roast Duck served with a rich Ancho and Apricot Mole Sauce.
It’s the holiday season and with it come festive parties and gatherings of family and friends. And, what’s a holiday gathering without a little wine? That’s why Sunday Supper is teaming up with Gallo Family Vineyards today to bring you 20 inspiring holiday recipes to pair with seasonal wines.
We decided to go a bit unconventional for today’s pairing and feature a cultural twist on a holiday Roast Duck.
Mole Rubbed Duck
Duck is a fun and unique holiday centerpiece dish. It is smaller than a turkey, which is perfect if you are hosting a small gathering, but it is much more elegant than chicken. The dark, rich meat has a taste and texture that is a cross between dark meat turkey and pork chops. And, since many people have never tried duck, roasting a duck for your holiday party is a sure way to impress your guests!
Not only are we roasting a duck today to pair with our Gallo Family Vineyards wine, but we are pumping up the flavor of that duck by seasoning it with a Mole Rub and serving it with a rich and slightly fruity Ancho and Apricot Mole Sauce.
The Ancho and Apricot Mole Sauce
This mole is pretty quick to make as far as mole sauce goes, and it can be made ahead of time. But, be warned, you will probably want to eat this sauce with a spoon right out of the simmering saucepan as you make it. It’s that good!
Ancho chilies bring a smoky depth of flavor and just a little heat. Almonds add a light nuttiness and apricots bring a light fruity sweetness. The flavors are all brought together by a touch of chocolate, which adds a rich and luscious flavor and texture to the sauce. It would be perfect served with chicken, turkey, or even roasted winter squash. But, today it is the duck that gets to be bathed in this beautiful sauce.
In Our Glass: Pairing Notes
We chose to pair the Roast Duck with Mole Sauce with Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful wine to pair with the juicy and flavorful duck meat, and the dark and subtle chocolate flavors of the mole bring juicy flavors of black cherry and blackberry forward in the wine. The Pinot Grigio is a lightly effervescent, bright wine that has a good balance of sweetness and acidity. You might not think of pairing it with a hearty main like duck, but its lightness actually creates quite a wonderful and balanced contrast to the deep flavors of the mole, cleansing your palate and readying you for another satisfying bite.
Whether your guests favor red or white, you can be sure that you will have a perfect pairing for this show-stopping feature of your holiday dinner.
As we sit back and enjoy our family and friends this holiday season, we are also reminded that this is the perfect time for giving back to those in need.
The Gallo Family Vineyards family is committed to helping Meals on Wheels America to improve the health and quality of life for the seniors they serve. For the sixth year in a row, Gallo Family Vineyards invites Americans to help end senior hunger and isolation with our annual Every Cork Counts™ program. They’re donating $1 for every cork submitted through their website or via snail mail. All Gallo Family fans have to do is snap a picture or send in their corks!
For more holiday recipes to pair with your favorite Gallo Family Vineyards wines, take a look at the tasty dishes from the Sunday Supper family below. Find more holiday inspiration on Gallo’s Holiday Traditions and Dishes blog post.
Be sure to find out where to pick up your favorite Gallo Family Vineyards wines for all of your holiday parties by heading over to their Store Locator. And, you can stay up to date on all the Gallo Family Vineyard wine news through their social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- 2 Tbsp ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 3 lb ducks, thawed
- 2 c Ancho and Apricot Mole (recipe follows)
- Mix all rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Remove the ducks from their packaging and remove anything inside of the body cavity.
- Rub the skin and inside the body cavity of the duck with the Mole Rub. Truss the duck by wrapping kitchen twine around the wings/neck flap and legs/tail to hold them in place. Place the seasoned and trussed ducks on a platter and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
- One hour before you are ready to cook the ducks, remove them from the refrigerator to let them come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325⁰F.
- Place the ducks, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a high-sided pan. Roast the ducks for 1 hour. After one hour, flip the ducks so that their back side is facing up. Roast the ducks for an additional 1 hour. After the second hour, turn the ducks again, breast side up. Roast for the final 1 hour.
- The ducks are done when the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast or thigh is around 165⁰F. Remove the ducks from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, tented loosely with aluminum foil.
- Brush the ducks with ½ c Ancho and Apricot Mole sauce before serving, if desired, or slice the ducks and serve the mole sauce with the meat.
- 3 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
- ½ c dried apricots
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- ⅓ c almonds
- 2 Tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 c chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cloves, ground
- Place the chilies and apricots into 2 cups of boiling water and set aside to soak.
- Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and broil until blistered, 10-15 minutes.
- Place the almonds in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the breadcrumbs and pulse until even and fine.
- Drain the chilies and apricots from the water and chop coarsely. Place them into the food processor along with the blistered tomatoes and garlic cloves, and 1 cup of stock. Process until a smooth paste forms.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the chili mixture from the food processor and sauté over medium high heat 3-4 minutes. Add the cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and remaining cup of stock. Mix until smooth and simmer until the mole is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the mole from the heat and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. (The mole can also be frozen for 2-3 months.)
Wow your guests this holiday season with these incredible seasonal wine pairing dishes from the Sunday Supper family!
- Bacon Pineapple Jalapeño Cheese Ball from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Baked Brie with Cranberries & Almonds from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Best Bar Nuts from Shockingly Delicious
- Lamb Seekh Kebabs from Soni’s Food
- Mediterranean Turkey Pita Bites from Magnolia Days
- Roasted Garlic Onion Dip from Food Done Light
- Roasted Cranberry Crostini from Recipes, Food and Cooking
- Slow Cooker Queso Blanco with Salsa Verde from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Shrimp and Roasted Pepper Cheese Crostini from Fearless Dining
- Italian Hoagie Flatbread from Family Foodie
- Roast Duck with Mole Sauce from Curious Cuisiniere
- Seafood Cannelloni from Palatable Pastime
Desserts and Sweets:
- Caramel Bread Pudding from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Chocolate Cups Filled with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Berries from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse from Life Tastes Good
- Cranberry Orange Walnut Truffles from Desserts Required
- Cranberry Panna Cotta from The Freshman Cook
- Crustless Pumpkin Pie with Orange Scented Whipped Cream from Recipe for Perfection
- Dark Cherry Chocolate Cheese Danish from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Plus don’t miss the Seasonal Wine Pairing Tips by Sunday Supper Movement.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.