Culinary Demonstration – Boma’s – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2012

Glenn O’Brien, Boma – Flavors of Africa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

November 12, 2012

Spice Route “Chakalaka”, South Africa

Jim Killems, fun guy and wine educator

Spice Route Chakalaka

We’ve written a lot about South Africa wines over the last few years (here, here, and here), particularly Spice Route wines. Lisa and Andy first introduced us to Chakalaka at a shared dinner at Jiko.

  • Charles Back is the “Robert Mondavi” of South African wine – it’s a compliment
  • South Africa climate stays very consistent, therefore vintage is not as important for South African wines as for wines grown in other regions of the world
  • “Chakalaka” is the Afrikaans word for “relish” ($20-25 per bottle)
    • 7 varietals are blended together to create Chakalaka – Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Tannat, Grenach, and Petit Sirah
    • because this is a blended wine, the product is very consistent
  • The WDW Food & Beverage Manager asked Spice Route to bottle Chakalaka in half bottles for WDW, so the 2012 vintage is bottled that way
Tasting notes:
  • nora’s notes without food: first nose = very fruity and rich, first taste = yum as always
  • nick’s notes without food: first taste = lovely, I like it!, first taste = a bit dry, but not worried because I know it pairs well with food

Pam Smith and Glenn O’Brien

Glenn O’Brien was a very good presenter, he talks like an educator. We didn’t get a photo, Glenn brought a cultural representative from Durban with him (these are usually chef students that stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge & Kidani Village for a year), they’ve added music and dancing by the cultural representatives in Boma (as if it isn’t loud enough in there already!)… Today we get an actual pairing! South African wine paired with South African food!

Spiced Duck Breast


Spiced Duck Breast with Dried Fruit Couscous

Serves 4

  • 4 (5-6 ounce) duck breasts – suggests Muscovy duck, it has 1/2 the fat of Long Island duck
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled, and minced
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 tsp Ras Al-Hanout (recipe follows)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 threads saffron
  • 4 whole cardamon pods
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • Dried Fruit Couscous (recipe follows)
  1. Score the skin/fat on the duck breasts so that the marinade can get in and the fat can render out during cooking, set aside.
  2. Heat a medium size sauce pot to medium high and add olive oil, half of the minced garlic, half of the diced onion, and half of the ginger. Sauté until onion softens and then add Ras Al-Hanout, cloves, cinnamon, saffron, and cardamon… you want to “bloom” the spices in the warmth. Add orange juice, bring to a boil, transfer to a pan to cool. Add duck breasts and marinate for at least 4 hours (overnight is fine for duck or pork).
  3. Remove duck breast from marinade and pat dry. Strain marinade and save liquid for sauce.
  4. Place duck in hot sauté pan, sin side down, over medium heat. Cook until skin is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Turn and continue cooking for 3-6 minutes, until duck is medium. Remove from pan and let duck rest. Pour off duck fat from pan; add reserved garlic, red onion, and ginger. Saute until tender and slightly brown. Add the saved marinade, simmer and reduce until slightly thick.
  6. Slice duck breast and serve over Dried Fruit Couscous. Drizzle with sauce.

Cooked perfectly rare… after rendering, Muscovy Duck has a lower fat content and higher protein than turkey

Ras Al-Hanout – this is a spice blend that is kept on the shelf in a lot of South African homes

  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs ground tumeric
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  1. Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Dried Fruit Couscous

  • 13 ounces toasted couscous
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 16 ounces Cardamon Spiced Broth (recipe follows)
  • 6 ounces Cooked Dried Fruit (recipe follows)
  • 4 ounces Orange Butter (recipe follows)
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Place couscous on a sheet pan in a 350 deg F oven and toast lightly, for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Transfer toasted couscous to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  3. Add broth and fruit to couscous, stir. Cover and let broth be absorbed into couscous (5-10 minutes).
  4. Toss with orange butter and salt to taste.

the sauce was a simple but perfect accompaniment

Cooked Dried Fruit – you can substitute other dried fruits

  • 1.5 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces dates, sliced
  • 4 ounces apricots, sliced
  • 8 ounces dried raisins
  1. Sauté dried fruits and butter until the raisins are plump. Remove from heat.

Cardamon Spiced Broth

  •  1 gallon cold water
  • 1 ounce fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, crushed
  • 1 thread saffron
  • 2 ounces cardamon pods
  • 1 1/2 tbs cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbs paprika
  1. Place garlic, ginger, saffron, and cardamon pods in cold water and reduce by 1/3.
  2. Toast cumin and paprika in a pan to release flavor. Add to broth, strain.

Orange Butter

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 3 oranges, juiced
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  1. Blend together. May freeze for later use; wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

Final Tasting Notes:

The couscous paired well with the wine, the duck paired well with the wine. While this was the last Culinary Demonstration for us during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in 2012, it was also one of the best. The food and wine were paired. The food service, while a little slow, was slow for a reason – to make sure that the food was served properly and at a good temperature.

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