05 July 2008

Duck with prunes

Yesterday I tried my hand at making Canard aux pruneaux — duck with prunes — which is what I had for lunch at the Trumilou restaurant in Paris with Cheryl and Claude about a month ago. Walt wanted to try it.

Canard aux pruneaux

My picture didn't come out all that great, and I completely forgot to take pictures while I was preparing the dish. But the dish itself was great (in my humble opinion). Here's the recipe I used for inspiration: Recettes de Cuisine. And here's what I did. The ingredients I used were:

  • 3 duck leg/thigh pieces (2¼ lbs.)
  • 4 oz. smoked lardons (slab bacon)
  • 30 prunes
  • 3 small onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. allspice (Jamaican pepper)
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • a pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • flour to thicken the sauce
  • water to extend the sauce
Brown the duck pieces in a skillet, starting with the skin side down. That makes enough fat that when to turn the pieces over the skinless side browns nicely too. Set aside. In a sauté pan, cook the chopped onions, celery, and carrots, the lardons, and all the spices and herbs in a little of the duck fat. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of flour over all as it cooks and let that cook in the fat. It will thicken the sauce. Put the duck pieces back in the pan and pour on the wine. Stir a little and then let it simmer, covered, for an hour. After one hour, add the prunes to the sauce. They don't need to be soaked beforehand because they are going to cook in the sauce. Let it cook for another hour, covered, at a low simmer. After two hours, take off the lid and turn the heat up a little to let the sauce reduce and thicken slightly. If it doesn't look brown enough, put the pan under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it.

Serve with noodles, rice, or potatoes, and a salad. We had ours with French fries because that's how it was served at the Trumilou in Paris. One difference was that at the restaurant the sauce had been strained and all it contained was the prunes. Mine had onions, celery, carrots, and lardons in it, so it was by definition more "rustic."

1 comment:

  1. Ken

    Do you make your fries from scratch and ,if affirmative, do you use olive oil?

    It's been a while since i have been back to France (last trip was in 2000) and we seem to enjoy the fries in the bistrots and restaurants when we were there last month.

    We have a gas cooker here and since gas is not piped-in also we use propane ( also for the fireplace) . After the ice storm of 1998, no Montrealers want to be w/o a second source of energy. Enjoy your new range and good cooking!!!


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