Due to its very high fat content duck first requires roasting until it is a quarter cooked. Once all the fat is drained off the duck can be braised.
Makes: 8 portions. Cooking time: ½ hours. Oven temperature: 180°C.
— 2 x 2½ kg prepared duck, quarter roasted
— ½ liter brown sauce
— ½ liter demi-glace sauce
— 200 grams blanched lardons of streaky bacon
— 16 button onions, shallow fried in butter until light golden
— 400 grams small peas
(1) Drain the part roasted duck and place in a deep sided saucepan.
(2) Add the brown stock and sauce to two-thirds cover the duck. Bring to the boil, skim and cover with a lid.
(3) Braise until three-quarters cooked.
(4) Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook in the oven covered with a lid until cooked.
(5) Remove the duck from the liquid and retain in a warm place.
(6) Boil the sauce and skim until all traces of fat have been removed. Season to taste and, if necessary, correct the consistency of the sauce.
(7) Cut the duck into portions and place in an entrée type dish. Coat with the cooking liquid and the peas.
(1) To test if cooked prick the top of the bird with a fine pointed fork. When the juices that are produced show no traces of blood the duck should be cooked. Pay particular attention to the legs when testing – they should yield to finger pressure.
(2) The duck may also be served in a shallow earthenware dish or cocotte/casserole, set on an underdish with a dish paper.
Assessment of the completed dish
The duck should be:
(1) moist with plenty of flesh and no trace of stringiness in the meat;
(2) without pieces of splintered bone;
(3) without a crisp outer skin because of the method of cooking;
(4) in the correct quantity, a suitable portion being a piece of boned leg and a piece of breast or a piece of breast only. The leg alone should not be served as a portion as there is generally very little flesh on the drumstick.
The sauce should be:
(1) flavored by the duck with a hint of sweetness from the peas;
(2) a rich dark brown in color and free from all traces of fat;
(3) of a light consistency so that it flows over the meat without clinging to the flesh. The peas should be fairly green in color, sweet and moist. The bacon lardons should be evenly cut, moist and not salty.