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Casserole of Duck with Peaches

Peaches make an excellent addition to the slightly gamey flavour of duck, and here they are complemented by a hint of sage. Barbary, Muscovy or the Nantois breeds of duck are less fatty than others.
Preparation time : 35 minutes,
Cooking time : 1 1/2 hours,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 790

ingredients

serves 4
4 lb (1.8 kg) duck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon
6 shallots
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 oz (65g) butter
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
4 fresh sage leaves
1 glass dry white wine
8 fl oz (225 ml) veal or chicken stock
3 large peaches
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

method

1. The sweet flavour of ripe peaches mingles with fresh sage and dry white wine to complement rich gamey duck.

2. Rinse inside the duck and pat it dry. Rub the inside with a little salt, pepper and half a lemon.

3. Peel and finely chop the shallots and garlic. Melt 1 oz (25 g) of the butter with the virgin olive oil in a casserole. Saute the shallots, garlic, chopped parsley, bay leaf and 2 sage leaves for 4 minutes.

4. Place the duck on top and add 1/4 pint (150 ml) water and 1/2 oz (15 g) butter. Cover and cook in the oven for 50 minutes, basting frequently with water and butter, and turning to make sure it cooks evenly.

5. Turn the oven down low. Remove the duck from the casserole and keep it warm in the oven. Pour away the fat from the casserole, then add half the wine and boil for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the stock, cooking gently for 5-8 minutes. Strain into a bowl, and discard the onion and garlic. Return the liquid to the casserole and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

6. Dice the peaches into 1/2 in (15 mm) cubes. Saute over a medium-high heat in 1 oz (25 g) butter and balsamic vinegar for 1 minute, then add the sugar and remaining wine and sage.

7. Cook for 1 minute. Remove the peaches and keep warm. Skim any fat off the stock before adding it to the casserole. Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Spoon the sauce and peaches over the duck. Serve.

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