I’m calling this recipe “Spanish,” but that might be unfairly nationalistic and exclusive. You can find this sort of thing all over the Mediterranean and might just as fairly call it “Provencal,” attribute it to the Italians, or spin it with a little mint, serve it with flat bread and call it Moroccan. Speaking of Spanish – if you don’t have sherry, get some. Wait, that didn’t come out right. If you’d prefer to use dry Madeira, dry Marsala, or anything else “off-dry,” go right ahead.
1 whole duck
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions
Large cloves from 1 head of garlic, about 1 doz, peeled
1 medium carrot
1 rib celery
1/2 bottle dry, white wine
1 cup dry sherry (Manzanilla or Amontillado)
1 cup green olives
4 tbs orange marmalade
1 cup chicken stock
1 handful oil cured, black olives
1 handful parsley
1 oz Serrano ham, or you may substitute Prosciutto.
Start by breaking your duck into 8 serving and 6 flavoring pieces as follows:
1. Disjoint the wings at the first joint where the upper arm attaches to the lower. Leave the lower arm and wing tip as a single piece, and reserve them. Leave the upper arm attached to the breast.
2. Remove both leg and thigh quarters from the body, then disjoint them into separate pieces.
3. Remove the breasts from the body by running a knife carefully between meat and ribs, and cutting around the wishbone, etc. Finally disjoint the upper arm from the carcass so the arm stays with the breast, and the otherwise boneless breast can be taken from the carcass.
4. Cut each breast into two pieces of roughly equal size.
5. Using a very heavy knife (chef de chef) or cleaver, break the carcass into 4 pieces.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Dredge the breast pieces, legs and thighs in flour, heavily seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika.
Put the casserole on a medium high fire to preheat. When the casserole is hot, add about 1/4 cup of olive oil after the in it. When the oil shimmers, just before it smokes, add half of the duck pieces and brown them. When they're browned, remove and reserve them. Add the remaining meat pieces and do the same. Finally, brown the wing tips and carcass pieces.
Meanwhile, while the duck is browning turn your onion, carrot, and celery into mirepoix.
When all the duck is browned and fragrant, remove it from the casserole, and add the mirepoix. Cook until browned. Reduce the heat slightly, add 3 tbs of flour, stirring, until the "raw" is cooked off ‑‑ about 3 minutes. You'll smell the difference as the flour toasts.
Add the sherry, wine, green olives and 2 tbs of orange marmalade. Bring to the boil. Return the duck pieces to the casserole, cover it, and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove from oven and set on the stove. Remove the duck pieces and discard the carcass and wing tips. Check to see that the meaty pieces are tender. If not, cover the casserole and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes. When they are tender, reserve the meaty pieces on a covered, heated dish; and set aside. Pick out the green olives and set them aside as well.
Let the casserole cool for a minute, allowing the fat to rise to the top. Meanwhile, chop the parsley.
Skim off as much fat as possible from the casserole. Turn on the flame under the sauce, and return to the boil. Thin to the desired consistency (nappe a metal spoon) with the chicken stock. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve or Chinese hat, forcing as much garlic and mirepoix through as possible into your sauce pan. Add the reserved 2 tbs of marmalade and whisk it into the sauce. When the marmalade is incorporated, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Remove from heat. Add the reserved green olives, the black olives, the minced ham, and half the parsley.
Plate the duck and sauce it generously. Garnish the plates with enough of the remaining chopped parsley for a fresh appearance.
PS. This recipe is original with me. If you like it and want to share it (but not for gain) with someone else, you have my permission on condition you attribute it to me, Boar D. Laze. I would consider it a kindness if you would also mention my eventually to be finished book, COOK FOOD GOOD, American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates.
PPS. If you haven't done so recently, take a look at my blog on CT, ChefTalk Cooking Forums - COOK FOOD GOOD, Blogging BDL's Cookbook. Suggestions welcome.