01 November 2011

Canard laqué

One of the nice things about cooking and eating in France is the universal availability of duck at affordable prices. I'm talking about whole ducks or ducklings for roasting, leg & thigh sections for confit, duck breasts for grilling or broiling — not to mention duck sausages, duck prosciutto, duck fat, duck gizzards, duck hearts, and duck livers, including foie gras de canard.

I bought a duckling at SuperU last week and made lacquered duck for the second time in recent years. Canard laqué is something I especially remember eating in Asian restaurants in Paris back in the 1970s and 1980s. Now I can make a passable version of it for myself at home. Here's a set of photos.

Marinate the duck overnight or for as long as 48 hours
in a sweet-spicy-salty sauce (

Bake the duck at about 300ºF/150ºC for 90 minutes.
Pour water or wine into the pan so the juices won't burn.
Wrap the duck in aluminum foil if it starts getting too dark.

Marinate the duck every 15 minutes with the sauce. Then
unwrap the duck and turn up the oven to give it good color.

Carve as you would carve a chicken or turkey. Cook the
remaining marinade to thicken it and serve with the duck.

Serve the duck with rice or Asian noodles and vegetables
and some of the drippings from the roasting pan.

I'm going to make this same thing using a chicken or a guinea hen next time to see how that would be. Or with a pork roast. Here are links to some of my other posts about cooking duck:


  1. Ken

    I have smoked a whole duck many times. If you have never done it, giveit a try. Heavenly!! Also the leftovers make incredible spring rolls.

    Jeff in Naperville

  2. That looks yummy. I think that I like duck white meat, but not dark meat. The skin looks tasty :)

  3. there is no duck white meat....its all dark! anyway, i wish we could get good fat ducks here in the US.....when i get frozen ones, they r so scrawny that its not worth the effort.....wish we could get duck breasts somewhere without them costing a fortune....I can get the legs/thighs at the oriental market & they r reasonable.....first thing i order in paris is duck confit!

  4. My, but that looks good!

  5. great work! we are about to fix up a couple ducks ourselves - yesterday i made pate. spectacular!

  6. Explanation from the USDA about red and white meat:

    Are duck and goose considered "red" or "white" meat?
    Duck and goose are poultry and considered "white" meat. Because they are birds of flight, however, the breast meat is darker than chicken and turkey breast. This is because more oxygen is needed by muscles doing work, and the oxygen is delivered to those muscles by the red cells in the blood. One of the proteins in meat, myoglobin, holds the oxygen in the muscle, and gives the meat a darker color.

    Chickens and turkeys stand a lot but do little if any flying, so their breast meat is white and leg meat, dark. Game birds, however, spend time flying so their breast meat may be as dark as leg meat.

  7. Robb and I both love duck and have it often in France. There aren't many places to get it in South Florida, and it doesn't seem to be as good when we do find it.

  8. Gorgeous! We really like duck, but it's hard to get anything other than a whole duck over here. Jealous!

  9. Thanks to The Beaver for that explanation--makes sense about the muscles.

  10. Merci Cousine for the interesting explanation concerning red and white meat. When you think of it you rarely, if ever, see a chicken in flight. Whereas ducks do fly and probably Guinea Hens too.

  11. The guinea hens I buy here have one wing section on one side "amputated" and I guess that is to prevent them from flying. I'm not sure the ducks are similarly estropiés, and I know the chickens aren't.

  12. CHM

    The only time I saw hens flying is when we tried to catch one for the sunday meal. My Grandmama had an enclosed "poulailler " . They were not flying, just trying not to be the one going in the pot


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