Sherry-Duck Gelée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This full-flavored, golden gelée, although never inexpensive to prepare, is an excellent way for a restaurant to use extra duck thighs. Use a good-quality dry sherry—a fino, Manzanilla, or amontillado would work well. If desired, expose the sherry to vacuum for 20 minutes (see Vacuum Pumps) to eliminate some of the alcohol.


whole duck legs 6 6
dry sherry (if using pekin duck legs) or dry sherry (if using moulard duck legs) 2 cups or 1 qt 500 ml or 1 L
brown chicken, beef, or veal gelée stock 2 cups 500 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Trim all the skin and fat off the duck legs, and separate the drumsticks from the thighs.
  2. Place the thighs and drumsticks snugly in a 2-quart (2 liter) pot with a tight-fitting lid and no long handle. Add the sherry, making sure it completely covers the duck, and put on the lid. If there isn’t enough sherry to cover, supplement it with a little stock or water.
  3. Place the pot in a larger pot. Pour enough water into the larger pot to reach halfway up the sides of the small pot.
  4. Place the lid on the large pot and bring the water to a simmer. Simmer in this way for 5 hours, replacing the water in the outer pot as needed. Do not open the inner pot.
  5. While the duck is cooking, place the gelée stock in a 1-quart (1 liter) saucepan and carefully reduce it by three-quarters, until almost a glaze. Strain through a chinois if necessary.
  6. Remove the inner pot and cool, covered, in the refrigerator or in an ice bath.
  7. When the contents of the inner pot have cooled, carefully separate the liquid and solid ingredients. The duck meat can be saved for another use. The liquid should be either completely liquid or barely set.
  8. Melt the reduced brown gelée and stir it into the cold sherry-duck liquid. Strain through a chinois lined with a wet napkin or a triple layer of cheesecloth. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Chill the gelée to adjust its consistency.