If you've never made duck before, try this classic recipe made famous by Julia Child.
Tackling a beast of a recipe like Julia Child’s Pate De Canard En Croute (the French title for this dish) can be very intimidating. That’s why I'm here...to guide you through harder recipes and make them easier and more approachable.
For the original recipe, one of the hardest parts is deboning a whole duck. I have done this a few times, and let me tell you, it is not only an hour of hard work, it's completely unnecessary in this day and age.
After you debone a duck you are left with two breasts and two legs that are held together only by a thick layer of fat. It makes a lot more sense just to buy the breasts and legs already separated and then do our best to stick ‘em back together!
I cut this recipe down from 7 hours to about 3, and I think anyone could make it. So if you're feeling adventurous this holiday season, give this recipe a try!
First, mix the stuffing ingredients. Julia's recipe has veal, pork, pork fat, and canned truffles. I went with more common and modern ingredients to create a similar flavor profile.
Here are the separate pieces instead of the whole duck. You still have to take the bone out of the legs, but it’s pretty easy. If you wanted to do this recipe with just the boneless breasts, that would be fine too!
Lay your duck skin-side down in a single layer between sheets of plastic wrap, and lightly beat it with a kitchen mallet or a rolling pin to make it thinner and seem like a cohesive layer.
Put your stuffing mixture down the center and use the plastic wrap to roll it up.
Twist the ends to really tighten this thing, and toss it into the freezer for 45 minutes.
Very gently, place it seam-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pop it into the oven at 500ºF. Keep your eye on this thing, because the fat likes to sizzle and pop and there will be some smoke.
It's nicely browned. Now put this onto the pastry and roll it up.
After baking, let it rest for at least a half hour.
Yum! Juicy, ducky, bacony goodness.
Serve with some simple cooked veggies for a tasty and festive meal.
Dan Whalen has never put 7 hours into a recipe... except maybe turducken. He has been blogging for over 5 years at The Food in My Beard. Check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!