Zinfandel Braised Duck with Mascarpone Polenta

Pairs Well With

    Karma Zin


  • 4 T. vegetable oil
  • 6 whole duck legs
  • 2 large shallots diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions sliced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 bottle (750ml) Carol Shelton Karma Zinfandel (Very Important!)
  • 2 qts. beef stock (or chicken stock, if youchoose)
  • 1 t. salt

Mascarpone Polenta

  • 5 c. water
  • 3 c. milk
  • 3 1/2 c. polenta
  • 5 T. mascarpone


  1. Preheat Oven to 400°F. Use a large sauté pan with an available snug-fitting lid—you’ll need to cover the pan later for braising in the oven.
  2. Heat sauté pan medium hot on stovetop, add vegetable oil. Salt and pepper duck legs, then sear duck legs off in vegetable oil till medium brown, turning to brown both sides. Remove legs and sauté lightly the onions, shallots, carrots, and celery. Deglaze the pan with the whole bottle of Karma Zin. Return duck legs to pan and add beef (or chicken) stock and a teaspoon of salt. Cover with the lid and roast in the oven for two hours @ 400°F.
  3. After roasting, the duck legs need to be removed from the braising pot and the liquid reduced to intensify the flavors and give body to the sauce. Reduce liquid by approximately one third by boiling gently over medium heat. In the meantime, remove the duck meat from the bones, discarding the skin, and return the duck meat to the liquid.
  4. Bring water and milk to a light boil and stir in polenta. Keep stirring the polenta consistently throughout the cooking time, which is going to be at least 45 minutes, with the polenta barely at a boil for the whole cooking time. A whisk or a wooden spoon is best for stirring. The stirring assures a creamy texture and helps keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Once the polenta is tender (not chewy), stir in 4-5 Tablespoons of Mascarpone, salt to your liking…and maybe whisk in a chunk of butter at the end......mmmmmm!
  5. Ladle soft polenta into a bowl, top with braised duck meat with its reduced sauce, and serve with a glass of Carol Shelton Karma Zin!