• 1 whole duck with giblets
• 2 large shallots, minced
• A tablespoon of sage
• 1 apple, peeled, cored and quartered
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 oz sweet cream butter
• ¼ cup of Cognac, Calvados or Madeira
• Truffle oil (made from truffles if possible)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• 32 oz container of organic vegetable stock
• Rinse the duck in cold water and dry well inside and out with paper towels. Clip off the two outermost wing joints and both sides and set aside
• Salt & pepper the duck inside and out. Place duck in Dutch oven. Put apple pieces inside the duck.
• Pierce duck skin all over with a knife so fat will render out (this step may be omitted with wild duck.)
• Rub duck all over with Cognac, Calvados or Madeira and pour a shot inside the cavity
• Rub the duck all over with the truffle oil
• If using a wild duck, cover the breast with un-smoked, sliced bacon
• Preheat oven to 350
• Pour braising liquid into Dutch oven over duck and cover.
• Cook in oven at 325 for 1 ½ hours (domestic duck) 45 minutes (wild duck)
• Melt butter in a sauce pan
• Sauté shallots until golden
• Rinse giblets, pat dry and cut into small pieces. Cut neck into thirds. Add giblets and wing tips to sauce pan and brown giblets
• Pour in vegetable stock, add bay leaf and sage and simmer until reduced by half
Serve with wild rice and braised red cabbage accompanied by good white Rhone or Burgundy, fine red wine or Champagne.
After the meal: save braising liquid. Add the carcass and bones from dinner to the Dutch oven. Cover with a quart of vegetable stock and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and freeze. After the stock is frozen you can remove the top layer of fat and save stock for braising your next duck. Each time you repeat this the stock will grow richer.
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