This recipe, inspired by Alain Senderens but with many liberties taken, is among our favorites for duck. It evolved as I was planning a special Provençal menu featuring duck and was considering the aromatic herbs of the region. That same day, as I was picking up flowers for the restaurant, I noticed that our florist had lavender blossoms for sale. They smelled so wonderful that I decided then to use lavender with the duck.
Combine the honey, duck stock, and chopped thyme in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Season with the vinegar if using and salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the ducks into quarters and arrange 2 quarters on each of 4 serving plates (see Note 4). Warm the honey mixture and spoon over the duck. The ideal accompaniment is little potatoes roasted in the rendered duck fat and blanched carrots sautéed in butter and sprinkled with parsley.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.