Cider Braised Duck with Prunes and Walnuts

A French bistro recipe much appreciated during the holidays.

I know that in some countries duck or goose is not often available but I can’t help it; these are part of my favourite meats.

Notice that wild duck has a stronger flavor than the domesticated duck and another difference can by observed with the fat duck or goose.

In France, duck and goose are mostly available the whole year long and they are for much family’s a holiday preference.

This recipe doesn’t need a lot of spices, the thyme, prunes and walnuts do a wonderful job on the duck’s savory meat.

It’s also an easy recipe to do for those who don’t want to spend the holiday in the kitchen.

As for the side dish; I leave it up to you.


Ingredients for 4 persons

8 duck legs (young duck), 4 bay leaves, 1 bunch fresh thyme, ½ tbsp coarse sea salt, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 6 cardamom pods, 400gr prunes, 125gr walnuts, 1 litre hard cider, 1 tbsp wheat flour, salt and pepper to adjust at the end.

You can also use dried apricots if you prefer!

Take a dry and cold frying pan and place the duck legs skin side down.

Set the heat on medium, (the fats of the duck will melt slowly) and sear the duck golden brown in its own fat.

Prepare an oven plate with a lid; add the thyme, bay leaves salt, peppercorn and cardamom.

Add half of the amount of prunes (the remaining prunes are added near the end of cooking).

Place the duck legs on top and add the hard cider, the legs should be covered.

Heat up the oven to 180°C (350°F) and cook the duck for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, add the rest of the prunes on top and cook for another 15 minutes.

Toast the walnuts shortly (2 to 3 minutes) in a dry frying pan and your ready to serve.

15 minutes later; take out the duck legs and reserve warm.

Discard the thyme, bay leaves and cardamom from the sauce and skim some of the fat.

If the sauce is to liquid, you can add a tbsp of flour (or starch) and gently stir until the sauce thickens, than kill the heat.

Replace the duck legs on top of the sauce; to keep warm until you serve.

Serve with a nice "Sauterne" or "Monbazillac".

Bon Appetite!


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© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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