Sam Beall is proprietor of the award-winning Blackberry Farm resort in Tennessee and author of The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm and The Blackberry Farm Cookbook.
“My memories of the holidays with my family — especially New Year's — always involved a big meal out on a hunting camp in the country. In fact, growing up, hunting is about all I did on the weekends if it wasn’t football season. Duck hunting was my favorite — now, one of my favorite ways to cook duck is a recipe that the chef at The Barn at Blackberry Farm came up with in homage to his mother’s chicken and dumplings, which is a classic Southern meal. He takes it to a new level by making the dumplings like gnocchi and swapping chicken for succulent, confited duck leg. It makes an ordinary dish new and extraordinary.”
Serve it with: Duck is great for wine drinkers because can go either way when pairing it — to a full-bodied white like an American Chardonnay or a Roussanne from the Rhone Valley, or to a red, like a Burgundian Pinot Noir or a great Grenache. Or, for that matter, to beer — a traditional Belgian saison-style ale, with lots of acidity, which would be delicious.
Pro tip: We use pumpkins in our kitchens all throughout the fall and winter — in soup, purées, salads and lots more. The chefs’ favorite cooking pumpkin is called the Kentucky Field pumpkin — it’s an old type that is light tan and stands up to storage really well.
Butter-Braised Cipollini Onions with Arugula and Balsamic Syrup on Multi-Grain Toast
Duck and Dumplings with Poached Eggs
Steamed Pumpkin Puddings with Tennessee Rum Hard Sauce and Pumpkin Seed Brittle