Braised Duck with Vegetables and Chestnuts
- To remove backbones of ducklings, use poultry shears or heavy kitchen shears to cut on either side of the backbone; discard bone. Quarter ducks by cutting in half through breast bone, then cut each half in half crosswise. Remove and discard excess fat. With a sharp knife score duck skin, cutting through fat layer but not into meat. In a large plastic bag combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add duck, one piece at a time, shaking to coat.
- In an 8- or 10-quart stew pot heat oil. Add 3 or 4 of the duck pieces, fat side down; brown on all sides. Remove duck. Repeat with remaining duck pieces. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
- Add garlic to pan and cook for 30 seconds. Carefully add chicken broth and wine to pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add bouquet garni. Return duck pieces to pan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer over low heat 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until duck is just tender, rearranging pieces halfway through cooking to assure even cooking.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degree F. Transfer duck to a roasting pan, reserving liquid in pot. Roast duck, uncovered, about 12 minutes or until browned and skin is slightly crisp. Meanwhile, add carrots, turnips, onions, and chestnuts to cooking liquid. Simmer, covered, 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon; transfer to a serving bowl; keep warm; Discard bouquet garni. Strain cooking liquid through a wire mesh sieve; skim fat (you should have about 3 cups cooking liquid). Return sauce to pan. Boil, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until reduced to 2-1/2 cups.
- To serve, divide duck pieces and vegetables among shallow bowls or plates. Spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle each serving with some snipped fresh thyme, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To make your own bouquet garni, cut a square of 100 percent cotton cheesecloth. In the center place two 2-inch celery sticks with leaves, 4 sprigs fresh parsley, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and 2 bay leaves. Gather cheesecloth around herbs and tie top with clean kitchen string.
If starting with fresh chestnuts in shells, using a sharp knife, carefully make a small slit in the flat side of each chestnut. In a medium saucepan combine chestnuts and enough water to cover. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently for 8 minutes. Drain chestnuts; let cool. Carefully peel chestnuts.
To peel pearl onions, place onions with peel in boiling water in a medium saucepan for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut off root end of the onions and squeeze from other end to remove peels.
Nutrition Facts (Braised Duck with Vegetables and Chestnuts)
- Per serving:
- 582 kcal ,
- 23 g fat
- (6 g sat. fat ,
- 4 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 12 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 216 mg chol. ,
- 786 mg sodium ,
- 37 g carb. ,
- 5 g fiber ,
- 4 g sugar ,
- 47 g pro.