Braised Duck with Olives and Vermouth
This recipe is featured in Duck
Duck and bacon fat are a stellar combination. Add browned vegetables, aromatics and vermouth, and a long slow cooking time for everything to sweeten and meld. The unctuous flavors and textures are thrown into relief by the addition of multi-colored, mild-flavored olives, and the result is heaven on a plate.
- Servings Serves 4
- 1¼ cups mixed green, black and red olives
- One 2.72 to 3 kg (6 to 7 pound) duck, rinsed and dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 227 grams (8 ounces) sliced smoked bacon
- 6 whole shallots, peeled
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 473ml (2 cups) chicken stock or broth
- 1 fresh tomato, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 237ml (1 cup) white vermouth
1. Preheat oven to 204° C/400° F. Place the olives in a bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside to soak. Season the duck with salt and pepper inside and out. Place an oval casserole dish (slightly larger than the duck) over medium heat, and add the bacon. Fry the bacon until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain, and reserve.
2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the duck to the pan breast-side down. Allow it to sear, moving it in the pan a bit to prevent sticking. When the breast is well-browned, turn it over to brown the other side. Brown each side of the duck as well, propping it against the side of the casserole dish. Transfer the duck to a platter or baking sheet.
3. Add the shallots and carrots, and sauté until browned on the surface, but still crisp. Transfer to the platter with the duck. Drain the fat from the pan and return the pan to high heat. Add the chicken broth and boil until reduced by half. Return the duck, shallots, and carrots to the pan, and add the bacon and tomato. Tie the bay leaves and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth, and add to the pot. Pour in the vermouth, cover, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Drain the olives, and add to the casserole. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
4. To serve, remove pot from oven and discard the bay leaves and thyme. Transfer the duck to a cutting board. Carve the duck, slicing the meat from the legs, thighs and breasts, and arranging it on a platter. Top the duck with the vegetables and olives from the casserole, and spoon over a generous quantity of sauce. Serve immediately.