This was the main/third course to my 2012 Thanksgiving dinner.
I love duck so much! I would make this everyday if making the sauce didn’t take me forever!!!! Oh, and this sauce was UHHHH-MAZING!!!!! OMG! I could drink the sauce!!!
For the Duck
- 2 Peking ducklings
- Duck bones from the duck
- Canola oil, as needed
- 1 large onion, chopped roughly
- 3 large carrots, chopped roughly
- 3 celery stalks, chopped roughly
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 16 cups chicken stock
- Bouquet garni – 2 bay leaves, 6 thyme sprigs, 2 TBS whole black peppercorns, bunch of parsley stems
- Mushroom trims, if available
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F and brown bones. Once bones are done, set temperature to 400°F. Put bones into a deep oven-proof tray.
Butcher and quarter the duck. Manchonner the legs and score the breasts. Cut away as much fat as possible. Breakdown the carcass. Place scored breasts into the fridge.
In a pan, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and mushroom trims. Remove once somewhat caramelized and place in deep tray, around the bones. In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.
In a separate pan, heat some oil. Season duck legs with salt and pepper, then sear in hot pan, to develop some color. Turn heat for duck legs down to medium and let it render out some fat. You only need to sear and cook the skin-side of the duck legs. The skin of the duck legs should be a golden brown color before going onto the next step.
Transfer legs, skin side up, on top of bones and vegetables in the deep tray. Add enough hot chicken stock to cover duck three-quarters of the way up. Add the bouquet garni, garlic, cover with lid or aluminum foil and braise the legs until tender, about an hour. Make sure the stock is bubbling/boiling before you put it into the oven.
When legs are done, remove from oven and let it cook slightly. Strain braising liquid and reserve for the sauce. Reserve duck legs in some remaining braising liquid and keep warm.
For the Sauce
- ½ cup honey
- 2 cups Shiraz
- 3 TBS butter
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 8 cups duck braising liquid, hot
- 1 cup sage leaves, more for garnish
- Bouquet garni – 1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 1 TBS whole black peppercorns, bunch of parsley stems
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- Salt & pepper
Caramelize the honey. When the honey is bubbling and golden, add the Shiraz to it. Add in chopped shallots and crushed garlic. Reduce until syrupy then add in the hot duck braising liquid. Add a loose bouquet garni and 1 cup of sage, and reduce by two-thirds. Strain through a fine sieve. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Continue to reduce, on low-medium heat, until there is some body to the sauce. Add the fresh blueberries and cook until berries are soft and release their juices. If sauce is not thickening, add some beurre manié. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Potato Herb Salad
- 1 lb mixed colored Pee Wee potatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 20 chives, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 head frisée, only white and light green parts
- ½ cup shallots, finely minced
- Salt & pepper
Boil potatoes in cold water and add bay leaf and thyme. Cook until tender. Let potatoes cool in its cooking liquid. Cut potatoes in half or thin rounds, then set aside.
Frisée and herbs should be washed before cutting. Before serving, frisée should be kept in ice water and chives & parsley should be covered with a damp paper towel.
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Season duck breasts with salt & pepper, turn heat to low and place a large pan on the stove. Place breast in the pan with skin-side down. Render the fat to all the breasts slowly. Every 5 minutes, pour away rendered fat. After 20-30 minutes, turn breast around and cook flesh side for 3 seconds and remove from pan and place on a wire rack, skin-side up, to rest.
For the braised legs, cut along the joint to separate leg and thigh. Only add a little braising liquid to the pan and have legs and thighs skin-side up. Place on low heat and once braising liquid starts to bubble and reduce, spoon the liquid over all the legs every 5 minutes. When the legs have reached a nice glaze color to them, keep warm and set aside.
In a salad spinner, dry the frisée leaves. In a pan, sweat the shallots in some olive oil then add cut potatoes. Once warm, remove from heat. Add frisée and herbs to potatoes. Season with salt & pepper, and EVOO.
Flash heat the duck breasts in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and let it rest for a minute before you start slicing. One portion includes: half a breast, either the leg or thigh, warm salad, and sauce. Plate to your liking or in picture (above).