Poached Duck with Duck Sausage and Horseradish Sauce


This recipe, like the following one, is inspired by the French pot-au-feu, but it is a faster-cooking dish than the chicken. Here you can use the legs only, breast and leg meat together, or just the breast meat—the fastest to prepare. The duck is first broiled or baked at high temperature to render some of the fat. The purpose of the astringent sauce is to balance the richness of the sausage and duck, so a mustard cream, for example, would work as well.


  • ½-pound piece fresh horseradish root
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole duck
  • 1 small cabbage, cored
  • ½ recipe duck sausage
  • 3 quarts duck or chicken stock
  • 4 large turnips, peeled, cut in oval shapes 2 inches by ¾ inch
  • 1 large celery root, peeled, cut in sticks 2 inches by ¾ inch
  • 20 baby carrots, peeled
  • 16 pearl onions, peeled
  • 8 small fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 small fresh tree oyster mushrooms
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme


Peel the horseradish root, wash it, and grate or puree it in a food processor. Stir into the cream and season with salt and pepper. Let sit 1 hour to develop flavor.

Heat the broiler or the oven to 400°F.

Season the duck and bake for 15 minutes to brown it slightly and render some of the fat. Let the duck cool and bone it so that you have 4 pieces. Trim off any excess fat, cut off the ends of the wings, and scrape the bones clean.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the cabbage. Let it sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Lift out the cabbage and let it cool.

Peel off the leaves one by one. Choose 8 of the best middle-size leaves and cut out the core 2 inches up into each of the leaves. Divide the duck sausage meat into 8 equal parts and place 1 part on each leaf. Roll up the leaves and tie each one with string.

Put the stock and duck pieces in a pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Add the vegetables, sausage packets, and herbs and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve with the horseradish cream sauce.