Braised Duckling with Turnips (Caneton Aux Navets)


serves 4
2 1/2 kg (5 lb) Duckling, oven-ready and with the giblets reserved
Salt and pepper to taste
75 g (3 oz) 6 Tbs Butter
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Dry white wine
350 ml (12 fl oz) 1 1/2 cups Duck stock, made with the reserved giblets
2 Bouquets garnis
16 Pickling or pearl onions
2 tsp Soft brown sugar
1 kg (2 lb) Small white turnips, quartered
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
2 Tbs Cornflour (cornstarch), blended with 2 Tbs water
1 Tbs Chopped parsley


1. Preheat the oven to hot 220 °C (Gas Mark 7, 425°F).

2. Rub the duck all over with salt and pepper.

3. Melt a third of the butter in a large flameproof casserole. Add the duck and fry until it is evenly browned. Pour over the wine and stock, and add the bouquets garnis and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then transfer the casserole to the oven. Braise the duck for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, melt another third of the butter in a frying-pan. Add the onions and half the sugar and fry gently for 5 minutes.

5. Transfer the onions to a plate. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the turnips and remaining sugar.

6. Fry gently until the turnips are evenly browned. Transfer the turnips to the onions.

7. Reduce the oven temperature to warm 170°C (Gas Mark 3, 325 °F). Arrange the vegetables around the duck, cover and return the casserole to the oven. Braise for a further 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the duck is cooked through and tender. Transfer the duck to a warmed serving dish and untruss. Transfer the onions and turnips to the dish and arrange them decoratively around the duck. Keep hot while you make the sauce.

8. Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by about a third. Stir in the lemon juice and seasoning. Stir in the cornflour (cornstarch) until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

9. Pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat and serve at once, with the duck and vegetables. Garnish with the parsley.

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