St. Martin's Day Roast Duck with Pears and Prunes

Source: Nichole Accettola, Kantine 

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on November 3, 2018.

Serves 4-6


1 whole duck (about 5 pounds)
7 ounces pitted prunes
3 pears, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart water 


2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 leek, cut in half, sliced and rinsed well
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
½ medium celery root, peeled and cut into large chunks 
3 springs fresh thyme 
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup red wine


Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove gizzards from duck (reserving them for sauce) and rinse the duck in cold water inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the duck generously with salt and pepper. Fill the duck with prunes and pears. Set the duck on a rack in a roasting pan, and place gizzards on bottom of pan. Transfer the pan to the oven. After 30 minutes, carefully pour the water into the roasting pan, and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. Roast for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the breasts from the carcass and set them aside to rest. Return the rest of the duck to the oven for 90 more minutes.

To prepare the sauce: Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a container, removing and discarding the gizzards, and skim off the layer of fat that floats to the surface. Set aside the fat and the drippings. In a sauté pan, heat the oil. Sweat the leeks, carrots, celery, thyme and garlic together until slightly soft. Deglaze with red wine and cook until reduced almost dry. Pour pan drippings over the vegetables and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain the flavorful liquid and keep hot while you finish the duck.

To serve: In a sauté pan, heat a small amount of the duck fat and brown the skin side of the breasts over medium heat so the skin crisps up a bit. Flip the breasts over for a quick reheat on the meat side as well, but only for a minute or two. Remove the duck legs from the carcass, slice or cut all the meat as desired and serve with pan sauce and pear and prune filling.



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