Happiest Plates On Earth: Duck Meatballs Over Angel Hair Pasta With Apple Brandy Cream Sauce- Inspired By ‘Tangled’



giphy (1)

Okay, so after a huge break due to several unforeseen circumstances, I am finally back! I feel like my last 4 recipes have started this way, but I’m pretty sure I’m pretty sure this time.  In the meantime, we have been doing work on making ‘The Lamp In The Firehouse’ as good as we can, so stay tuned for possible upcoming changes! And now, onto the actual post.


Writing about ‘Tangled’ is really difficult for me.  It almost transcends to a different level of Disney.  It is a movie that is very important to my husband and I, and it makes it hard to look at this movie objectively.  Luckily, that is his job and not mine.




I just make the food, and so I did.



‘Tangled’ is definitely one of the Disney films that gave me inspiration to do a series on recipes based on movies, as opposed to making dishes featured in the films.  Yes, I could make hazelnut soup, and I’ve seen recipes for it.  Side note- hazelnuts are very high in fat and Rapunzel and Mother Gothel are thin, so someone explain that to me.




I started with taking the most basic character traits and settings for the movie and just extrapolated from there.  Seriously, this one was like falling off a log, which I’ve never done, but I understand is quite easy.  I had angel hair pasta for Rapunzel, duck meatballs (fried in a cast iron skillet for Flynn) to represent The Snugly Duckling , apples for Maximus, and hazelnuts to represent the Mother Gothel/Rapunzel relationship.  But, did those flavors actually work together in any palatable way?


Yes! I even surprised myself with how well it worked.

I went through the trouble of buying a duck, breaking it down and grinding the meat, and then making stock with the bones and rendering the skin to get duck fat.  You obviously don’t have to go through all that work.  In fact, this would be great (and healthier) with ground chicken or turkey, but if you’re a ‘Tangled’ purist, I recommend the duck.  Nothing else quite tastes like duck.


My mother and father-in-law happened to be visiting at the time I tried out this recipe and I was very excited to see their reaction up close and personal to what we have been working on for close to a year.  My parents joined all of us for dinner and I picked up a tableful of clean plates, so I count it as a success!

Want to read more about what all the fuss was about? Well then, let’s not wait for our lives to begin!




Duck Meatballs Over Angel Hair with Apple Brandy Cream Sauce

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Cook Time 1 Hour




Duck Meatballs

1 lb ground duck

2 eggs

3 cups panko

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1/2 tablespoon dried sage

1/2 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary

4 tablespoons duck fat (or butter)


Place the panko bread crumbs and dry seasoning in a large bowl and add the eggs.  Mix together well before adding the ground meat.  Continue mixing until you have a meatloaf texture.  Form the mixture into balls.  They can now be refrigerated until you want to cook them.


Place two tablespoons of duck fat (or olive oil if you don’t have duck fat) in a large braising pan on the stove top.  Place meatballs in the pan and gently brown them on all sides.  Remove the meatballs from the pan.  You will add them in again at the end.  Now you can use the same pan to make the apple brandy cream sauce (recipe follows).



Apple Brandy Cream Sauce


IMG_8033 (2)

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 cups golden delicious apples, peeled and sliced

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced ( I used red, but vidalia would also be delicious)

1 1/4 cup brandy

2 tablespoon stone ground mustard

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups duck stock ( or substitute chicken stock)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper To Taste


Stir the chopped garlic and onions into the leftover fat and drippings of the braising pan and cook them on low until they are softened.  Add the apples and cook them in the onions until soft. Remove the apples, onions, and garlic from the pan and sprinkle in flour to the pan and mix with remaining fat until thickened.  Add in brandy, a little at a time, whisking as you go.  Next, add in stock, mustard, fish sauce, and worcestershire sauce.  Simmer together until nicely thickened, similar to a gravy.  Whisk in heavy cream and then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return the meatballs, apples, onions, and garlic to the pan and continue to heat on low until you are ready to serve.


Angel Hair Pasta

1 gallon duck stock ( or chicken stock)

16 oz angel hair

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed

2 oz chevre crumbles

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Place duck stock in a large pot on stove and bring it to a boil.  Add the angel hair pasta to the stock and cook until al dente.  Drain the pasta and then toss in the cream sauce to coat and then move to a plate or bowl for serving.  Garnish with the remaining ingredients.


This was a hearty and filling dish with a hint of sweetness from the apples and richness from hazelnuts and goat cheese, all grounded by the earthy flavors of the duck and the radishes.  It was a lot of work, but it was one of my favorites I’ve made throughout this adventure. Get back in the swing with me and give it a try!

giphy (2)

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s