Wild Duck with Celeriac and Morels

Wild duck is a dark, rich and distinctively flavoured meat. Provided it is served rare, it will be tender without the need for oil or butter. This recipe calls for mallard but the wild duck family also includes wigeon, which is smaller, and teal, which is smaller still. They all taste similar.

Ingredients

  • 8 dried morel mushrooms
  • 4 mallards
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small stick celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100 ml (fl oz/7 tablespoons) chicken stock or water
  • 50 ml (2fl oz/¼cup) red wine
  • 7 small celeriac (celery root), peeled and diced
  • 7 teaspoon grated horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tablespoons demi-glace, optional

Method

In a small pan of water, bring the morels to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside. When the morels are cool enough to handle, rinse, then cut off the stalks.

Cut the legs from the ducks. Fry these in a heavy pot along with the shallots, celery and garlic. Add the stock and red wine and bring to the boil. Cover and braise for 2 hours or until the meat is completely tender and ready to fall off the bone.

Heat a dry frying pan, then seal off the skin on each side of the ducks until dark. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast at 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) for about 25 minutes or until medium rare.

Peel and dice the celeriac. Boil it in some water until tender, then drain and mash it. Season with the horseradish, salt and pepper, stir in the cream and set aside.

Lift the braised legs from the pot and strain the cooking liquor into a small saucepan. Add the morels and stir until they come to the boil. Add the demi-glace if using.

Carve the duck breasts from the bone. Let them rest for a few minutes then slice fairly thinly. On warm serving plates, lay the braised leg against the celeriac purée and fan out the breast meat slices below. Pour the sauce around and serve.

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