Canard aux Navets

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr 10

Appears in

The French Market

The French Market

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2005

  • About

This simple and time-honoured combination of duck breast, smoky-sweet shallots and fresh young turnips works very well as a warming winter dish.


  • 6 duck breasts
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp goose or duck fat or olive oil
  • 24 shallots
  • 400 g small turnips, cut into wedges
  • 30 g flour
  • 400 ml white wine
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 100 ml Madeira


    Trim and season the duck breasts. Heat half the fat in a large pan, add the duck and cook over a moderate heat on each side until golden. Now reduce the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes. Peel the shallots: put them into a bowl with some boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain them and peel when cool. The skins should slip off easily.

    In another large pan, heat the remaining fat. Add the shallots and turnips and cook until golden all over. Transfer the duck to this pan and continue to cook. In the first pan, make a roux: remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and mix well. Pour in the wine a little at a time and mix in. When all the wine is added, return to the heat and bring to the boil. Add the thyme, bay leaves and sugar.

    Pour over the duck and turnips and cook on a low heat for a further 8 minutes. Stir in the Madeira just before serving.