Caneton aux Olives

Duck with Olives

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

French Country Kitchen

French Country Kitchen

By Geraldene Holt

Published 1987

  • About

A classic dish in French cooking. The slightly bitter green olives act as a beautiful foil to the rich-tasting duck.


  • 2–2½ kg(4–5 lb) duckling
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 1 slice lard fumé or smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3–4 tablespoons vieux marc or whisky
  • 100 g( oz) fresh, white breadcrumbs
  • about 24 green olives
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • a small knob of butter
  • ¼ teaspoon flour
  • stock made with the giblets


If necessary dry the duckling with kitchen paper and then sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cook the diced bacon and chopped shallot in the olive oil until soft, add half the marc and tip the contents of the pan into a bowl. Mix in the breadcrumbs, some salt and milled pepper, the chopped flesh of half the olives and the zest of orange. If the mixture is too dry, add a little hot water to bind. Spoon the stuffing into the duck.

Melt the butter and brown the duck all over. Transfer to a trivet in a roasting tin and roast the duck in a moderately hot oven (Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F) for 1–1¼ hours or until cooked to your wishes. Pour off excess fat during the cooking.

Transfer the duck to a hot serving plate and keep warm until ready to serve.

Pour off all excess fat from the roasting tin and stir the flour into the juices. Flame with the remaining marc and add the rest of the olives and sufficient stock to make a small quantity of sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Carve the duck and serve with the stuffing and sauce.