Duckling with Taggiasca Olives and Tender Turnips

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Duckling

Singe, draw, and dress the ducklings, after having removed the collar bone. Separate the ribcage from the thighs and the spine, cut away the breasts, and remove the nerves as well as the thin inner skin.

Coarsely chop the livers, hearts, and pitted olives. Add the cold reduced duck juice, and spread this mixture on the breasts. Sew the chests of each duckling back together tightly, and truss, making sure that the sprigs of rosemary are woven into the trussing. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on the spit for approximately 10 minutes, then place on a rack to collect the drippings, which will be used to bind the sauce.

Cut off the tip of the leg, and bone the thigh.

Season the drumsticks with salt, and sear in a very hot sauté pan, skin side down. Next, place in sous-vide bags, adding 1 tablespoon of the cooled base sauce, prepared below, and cook in hot water at an even 145°F (62°C) for 14 hours.

When cooked, cool quickly over ice, open the bags, and drain the legs, reserving the cooking juices.

Step 2: Base Sauce

Dice the aromatics into a mirepoix. Peel the garlic cloves, halve, and remove the sprout. Marinate the duck bones and all of the filling in red wine for 24 hours.

Drain the bones, placing the solids and marinade in separate containers.

Let the bones dry, then brown in a cast iron pot in a drizzle of olive oil, and season lightly with salt. Add the aromatics, deglaze with marinade, and reduce.

Add the duck jus and the spices, skim off the fat, and bake for 4 hours in a 250°F (120°C) oven.

When finished, remove the bones, and strain the cooking base sauce through a fine-meshed chinois.

Step 3: Turnips

Shape the turnips into cylinders. Season with salt and sugar, and coat in melted butter. Cover and stew until nice and browned all over.

Glaze with the duck jus, and finish cooking, glazing the vegetables in their own cooking juices.

Step 4: Finishing Plating

Quickly sear the cooked duck legs. Moisten with base sauce, and stew for 3 minutes. Remove the meat from the bones.

Bind the sauce with the reserved juices, season as needed, and emulsify with butter. Filter through a small strainer, and add the olives.

Serve the drumsticks on an Escoffier dish, coat with the sauce, and sprinkle with the olives.

Arrange the ducklings on a silver platter, then lay the breasts, turnips, and the legs on the plates. Carve the ducklings at the table.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits