I'm quite in love with confit de canard and we always bring some back with us from France. But I've never cooked duck at all myself. In fact, although I love confit de canard, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn't even like duck any other way. Can't even tell you why.
The suggestions I got off of facebook sounded great, and I have them on a mental "to cook" list. But my husband found this recipe here on the Papilles and Pupilles blog and he wanted me to try it. And it was absolutely delicious. Better than I could have imagined. I don't know how much of it was the recipe and how much of it was the quality of the duck (we got a Brome Lake duck from the grocery store - click here to see if they sell one in your area). The taste and texture of the meat was beyond fantastic. It reminded me of confit de canard, in fact. We were all super surprised at how well this turned out.
For the Calvados (apple brandy), we used Michel Jeaudoin's apple brandy. My husband just happens to really like this, so we had some on hand.
I didn't bother making the stuffing, so the whole recipe didn't take very long to make, cooking time aside. The best part of this recipe is that, when we served leftovers on the second night, the kids couldn't stop eating it, even though they wouldn't even look at it the first night. Neither of them eat very many meats, but they gobbled up the portion we had set aside for Jérôme's lunch the next day between the two of them. So I will definitely be making this again.
We enjoyed this as our last dinner with Isabelle, Jérôme's cousin, who stayed with us, in a whirlwind of mad chaos, for two weeks. It was more than wonderful to have an extra set of hands and a fresh batch of patience around. Tatsabelle (as Logan so fondly called his Tata (Auntie) Isabelle), we already miss you dearly. Every time Logan wakes up, he asks me "where's my Tata?". And every time a plane flies overhead, he gets all excited and tells me "Tata's coming back in the plane". Thanks so much for all of your help and support over the past two weeks :) You are welcome to move in, any time.
For the stuffing:
1 tbsp. Calvados
duck gizzard and liver (or two slices of prosciutto)
1 small onion
1. Peel two apples. Cut the duck gizzard and liver into pieces. Peel and dice the onion. Cook the onion in 15 g of butter until they become translucent. Add the apples and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. of Calvados and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and add the gizzard and liver, along with the coarsely chopped walnuts.
For the duck:
2 tbsp. Calvados (apple brandy)
50g of butter
1. Spread 50g of butter over the duck (I didn't bother doing this). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and cook the duck one hour per kilogram. Cover the duck with aluminum foil during the last hour of cooking. Regularly baste with juices as the duck cooks.
2. Once cooked, pour 2 tbsp of Calvados over the duck. Cover with aluminum foil and put back into the oven at 300 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes.
For the roasted apples:
25g of butter (I just put in a spoonful)
1 kg. of apples
1 C cider
1. While the duck is cooking, peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Place into a pan and brown them in 25g of butter. Pour 1/2 C of cider over the apples. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. If there is not enough liquid, add another 1/2 C of cider.
2. Carve the duck and place on a serving platter along with the apples.
Difficulty level: easy