Destination Hotels & Resorts’ “The Study Of…” Culinary Series

Destination Hotels and Resorts’ "The Study Of..." culinary series features an in-depth exploration of ingredients with the chefs of the Destination Culinary Collection.

Vail Cascade, a Vail mountain resort offering premium condominium rentals in Vail, is pleased to feature this mouth-watering dish…DUCK EMPANADAS, created by Jay Spickelmier, Chef at our Vail, Colorado restaurant Atwater on Gore Creek. 

DUCK EMPANADAS By Chef Jay Spickelmier at Vail Cascade Resort

Duck Leg Salt Cure:

  • Kosher Salt – 2 C 
  • Brown Sugar – 1.5 C
  • Corriander – 4 T • Ginger (ground) – 2 Tsp
  • Nutmeg – 2 T
  • Cinnamon – 1 T
  • Smoked Paprika 1 T


1. Season duck legs skin side up in hotel pans. Layer with rosemary, thyme, black pepper and bay leaves
2. Cover and let sit in cooler 24 hours
3. Before cooking, rinse well and allow to air dry.  Cover duck leg meat in rendered duck fat or oil
4. Cover with parchment paper and foil and place in a 250F degree oven for 4.5 hours.
5. Cool and pull duck meat, rough chop duck in pieces
6. Add 1 cup fresh ginger chopped
7. 1 cup fresh garlic chopped
1 cup scallions, thin sliced
8. Fold duck into wrapper and seal closed with a little slurry of flour and water.
9. Flash fry or bake with an egg wash

Chorizo Sofrito

  • Yellow Peppers, Med dice – 3 QTS 
  • Red Peppers, Med Dice – 3 QTS
  • Garlic, Rough Chop – 2 C
  • Sugar – 1 
  • Sherry Vinegar – 2 C
  • White Wine – 2 C
  • Honey – 1 C


1. Render chorizo
2. Add peppers and onion.
3. Sweat, add garlic then sugar
4. Deglaze with sherry vinegar and white wine
5. Reduce  and simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. Garnish with Cilantro

Recipe if for 10 pounds of duck leg