Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips)

Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips)This next class is all about roasting and frying. First up is roast duck with glazed turnips. I've made duck before and was astounded by all the fat that melted off of it, so I was a little worried about making duck again. And turnips are not a favorite at our house, but glazed I thought they might be more to our liking.
"The origins of this popular French dish are believed to date back to the Roman gourmand Apicius." Saveur magazine
The duck I found at the grocery store comes from the oldest duck-breeding farm in Canada, Brome Lake, Quebec. Luckily, I was able to find it ready to roast and not frozen.

I read on the duck producer's website that the fat in duck is good fat, full of omega oils. This recipe, however, renders the fat and then gives you a chance to remove it so your sauce at the end is not at all fatty.

"With a rubber duck, one's never alone."
Reducing and Trussing
While you're preparing the duck, I reduced the veal stock by half. [I like to use a ruler to measure the liquid in the pot so that I can register what half means. So if the liquid reaches the 1-inch mark, I keep checking the liquid until it has reduced to the half-inch mark. I probably don't have to be so precise, but when I make a recipe for the first time, I like to follow the rules!] This was the last of the veal stock in my freezer that I had made in April, so it's time to get out the pots and make a new batch.

The first step to prepare the duck is to remove the wishbone. I tried, but had no luck. As it turns out, removing the wishbone is planning ahead since it helps the carving process later according to this post). Maybe next time.

"Backbone beats wishbone every time."
After removing the wishbone [if you can], truss the bird so that it cooks evenly and looks good straight from the oven. This is much easier than removing the wishbone. Just tie the wings and legs as tight to the body as you can.

Next, I seared the meat on each side in the roasting pan on top of the stove. The roasting pan must be large enough to hold the meat so that it doesn't stew in its own juices.

Then I added the carrots and onions. At this point, everything goes in the oven to roast. I turned it every 20 minutes and basted it regularly with the reduced veal stock.

After 40 minutes, I removed the duck and poured off the sauce into a gravy separator. Then I returned the sauce to the pan, leaving the fat behind. I basted it with more veal stock and continued roasting it until cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes longer.

After cooking, the meat should sit for about 15 minutes so that the juices get reabsorbed back into the flesh.

While the meat is roasting, it's time to prepare the veg. I tried practicing my turning skill and still need lots more practice. After boiling them in salted water for about 8 minutes until tender, I fried them in some butter and sugar, caramelizing and then glazing them with some more veal stock.

After the ducks finished cooking and while they were resting, I made the sauce, which is just a pan sauce. I poured off the juices from the roasting pan into a bowl. Then I deglazed the pan with the wine, scraping up all the bits that were stuck to the pan. After a splash of water, I returned the juices to the pan along with a Bouquet Garni and let this mixture reduce for about 15 minutes. After seasoning, the sauce was ready to strain and serve.

Sauce for Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips)Recipe

Serves 6

Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips) mise en place
2 ducks, 4 to 5 pounds each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2½ cups Brown Veal Stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, chopped coarse
2 onions, chopped coarse

For the glazed turnips:
3 pounds small white turnips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Brown Veal Stock

½ cup dry white wine
1 Bouquet Garni
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ bunch watercress for garnish

You can find the recipe for Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Canard aux Navets (Roast Duck with Glazed Turnips)Tasting Notes
For duck, this was tasty, especially with the sauce. And glazed turnips are much better than unglazed ones. Overall, this was a good, well-rounded, satisfying meal. The kids told their friends that their mom made them eat duck (my youngest daughter's favorite animal) the night before and all their friends were shocked. I guess I'm the "meanest mom on earth" today! We'll see what they say when rabbit is on the menu in Class 26!

Next Week (January 14)
• Poulet en Cocotte Grand-Mère (Braised Chicken Casserole with Bacon, Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Onions) pages 296-297

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $955.50 + $22.09 (1 duck) + $9.27 (turnips) + $4.73 (sauce) = $991.59

Butter used so far: 8 pounds, 24 tablespoons

. . . . . . . . . .
::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.
If you like this post, share it!

If you like this blog, you can subscribe and get updates automatically.
  • Click here to learn about subscribing.
  • Click here to subscribe.


    Anonymous said...

    Oh, you mean mom! LOL. Someday they will appear on Oprah and share how their mom made them eat duck in pursuit of culinary expertise! LOL. Very nice are such a star. Thank you for the idea of using a ruler to measure reducing liquids...I never thought of it, but it is the perfect way to do that...thank you! Your duck and all the rest of it looks wonderful. I hope to get to it by the weekend...I hope mine looks as good as yours!

    Lynda said...

    My son likes duck. He ate it in France this summer with his dad. It was called Duck Confi(duck liver)and he thought it was tasty. The restaurant they had the duck at had a chef with a michelin star. He said that he also likes rabbit and he ate one that he hunted with his dad and cooked over a fire. He said the rabbit tasted yummy and he would eat it again in a second.

    vibi said...

    Wowwy! I love, love, love duck... and make it often, but never would I dare roasting a whole one! Oh! no sirrey! You're very courageous!

    Yours is beautifully done... and I sure hope you kept the fat, for it makes amazing pan roasted garlic potatoes and many other really crazy good stuff!

    LOL LOL... I was 9 when the first rabbit crossed my plate! I was mad and cried throughout almost the whole dinner. Needless to say, I find it amazing today. LOL

    CookiePie said...


    Anonymous said...

    They'll survive Shari! Rabbit's coming up eh? I sure hope it's easier to find rabbit than it's been to find veal bones! LOL! Your duck looks lovely and your sauce, magnificent!

    Anonymous said...

    yum yum yum quack quack! Your kids are lucky! (someday they'll realize :-D )

    Michelle said...

    OH MY...your duck looks just wonderful! And you were absolutely correct on the veal stock. It's so worth all the time!

    Anonymous said...

    Love duck.. Never tried to cook once since I moved to Canada. Yummy

    Anonymous said...

    Looks great. All the rendered duck fat is a great substitute for butter when sauteing things, or if you have enough to makes pommes frites.