Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
The holidays are all about indulging in the delicious, decadent food of our families’ traditions. Chef Derek Langford of Bud & Alley’s graciously shared some holiday memories and an especially celebratory recipe to enjoy this season.
Chef Langford grew up in North Georgia, in a town called Winder just outside of Athens. His family has always been very tight-knit and therefore always enjoyed holiday dinners collectively. As he said: “it was a time when we could all just settle down and be together.” The centerpiece of these meals was a bird and there were also root vegetables from the garden on the table.
These memories of food binding and bonding folks is what made Derek actually want to pursue a culinary career. He began working in kitchens as well as on a few farms in north Georgia, bringing him closer to the seasonality of food and helping him understand and respect where all our food comes from.
Chef Langford likes this recipe for the wintertime. The vegetables and pomegranate dressing go great with fish, poultry and lamb but are especially festive with roasted duck.
Roasted Duck with Winter Vegetables and Pomegranate Dressing
Preparation for the Duck:
• 4 1/2 pound duck
• 1 orange cut into wheels
• 1 apple cut into wedges
• 2 sprigs of rosemary
• Salt and pepper
Season the duck inside its cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the duck with the orange, apple, and rosemary. Using kitchen string, truss the duck’s legs closed. Place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place duck into oven for 10-15 minutes until a golden color. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook the duck to a medium rare. This will be about 45 minutes or until the juices in the fattiest party of the duck is a pale rose color. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
• 6 parsnips peeled and quartered
• 6 carrots peeled and quartered
• 20 Brussels sprouts cut in half
• 3 turnips peeled and cut into wedges
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 4 bay leaves
• Olive oil, salt, and pepper
Toss the vegetables in olive oil to lightly coat them. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. In a 350 degree oven roast the vegetables for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables have a light caramel color.
For the Dressing:
• 1 pomegranate
• 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
• 1/8 cup tupelo honey
• 1 cup olive oil
• Salt and Pepper
Clean the pomegranate by cutting it in half and hitting the hull with the back of a spoon over a mixing bowl to remove the seeds. Discard the hull once seeds are removed. Combine the pomegranate seeds with the sherry vinegar and tupelo honey and then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the vegetables with the dressing. Finish them with chopped parsley and chives if you desire. Enjoy every bite and every moment together with those you love most.