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Ducklava

Serves 6 as an appetizer

2 c (500g) cooked duck meat
1/2 c (113g) almonds, pecans, pistachios or walnuts
1/4 c bourbon
1/2 c (113g) dried sour cherries
2 T minced shallot
1 T honey (optional)
1/2 pkg phyllo, thawed
1/2 c melted butter or olive oil
Chestnut honey or similar strong honey such as Greek Fir, for drizzling

Soak cherries in bourbon for 30 minutes. Grind the nuts and duck meat in a food processor or chop by hand until combined. Add cherries to duck mixture, reserving the bourbon. Briefly pulse to combine. Add shallots and three tablespoons of bourbon, pulsing to incorporate. Add more bourbon by the tablespoon until the mixture is thick and chunky. Season with salt as needed and add honey, if desired.

With a pastry brush, brush butter or oil on the top layer of two sheets of phyllo. Fold in half to form a long rectangle. Brush top lightly with more butter or oil.

With your hands, use 1/2 cup of duck mixture to form a log to place at the short side of the phyllo dough, leaving about 1/2-inch on either side. Roll the short end with the duck mixture into a thick cigar.Place the cigar, seam-side down on baking sheet, tucking in the phyllo on either end. Brush lightly with butter or oil. Repeat this five more times.

You can refrigerate the ducklava for up to 6 hours by wrapping the cigars in plastic wrap. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden, or according to the phyllo package directions. Remove from oven and slice cigars diagonally into two-inch sections, if desired. Drizzle with honey. Serve hot.

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