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Roast Duck with Three Rice Stuffing

Duck with Three Rice Stuffing

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Serves 4 to 6.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

Duck is a rich and delicious meat. Add a reduction sauce and a flavorful stuffing, and you have an exotic meal. Although more expensive than chicken, duck is nonetheless an affordable meat. The stuffing here is made with three kinds of rice, flavored with onion, sage, and pork sausage.

Ingredients:

1 duck, 5 to 6 pounds (2.25 to 2.75kg), cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons pure (cooking) olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup (85g) brown rice
½ cup (100g) white rice
½ cup (100g) wild rice
3 cups (710ml) chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
2 to 4 shallots, depending on size, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion (about 12 ounces/340g); chopped
2 to 3 stalks celery; chopped
6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms; chopped, stems discarded (criminis can be substituted)
1 pound (450g) pork sausage meat
10 to 12 fresh sage leaves; chopped
¼ cup (60ml) dry port
¼ cup (1 ounce/28g) dried cranberries

Directions:

If you purchased a whole duck, rather than pieces, cut the duck into four pieces, eliminating the back section and wings (which can be saved for stock) using poultry shears or a large sharp knife. The four pieces should be the legs and the breast sections with the bones attached. (You could debone the duck, but that is a lot of work.) Using a skewer or a small pointed knife, pierce the skin in several places to allow the fat to drain when browning the duck pieces.

Heat olive oil and butter in a larger skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the duck pieces, two at a time (do not crowd the pan) until well browned, about 10 minutes.

While the duck is browning, cook the rice. Start the brown rice and wild first, as they need the most time to cook, by heating 1¼ cups (300ml) stock in a pan and adding the rice. Cook about 20 minutes covered, then add the white rice and cook an additional 12 minutes covered.

When all the duck is browned, remove from the skillet and set aside. Wipe the skillet with paper towels (no need to wash it). Add about 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and sauté the sliced shallots until caramelized. Start over medium-high heat and reduce the temperature as the moisture cooks off. Total cooking time should be 10 to 15 minutes to reduce to a golden color. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Sauté the onion until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove and set aside (can be added to the shallots). Sauté the chopped celery until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes, and then set aside. Sauté the chopped mushrooms until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil to the pan if needed. Sauté the pork sausage meat until thoroughly cooked and lightly browned.

Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a large and deep casserole dish for which you have a cover, combine the cooked rice, shallot, onion, celery, mushrooms, and pork sausage. Adjust for salt and pepper. Add the chopped sage and mix well. Arrange the browned duck pieces on top and cover (or use foil).

Bake until the duck meat reaches a temperature of 170°F (77°C) when tested with a digital thermometer, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

While the duck and stuffing are baking, start a port reduction sauce by washing the skillet and heating the remaining stock over medium-high heat. Add the port and cranberries. Bring to a boil and reduce the volume to about ½ or 1/3 its original volume. Set aside.

When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and let rest about 5 minutes. Plate with plenty of stuffing to one side and spoon the port reduction sauce over the duck. Serve immediately with a green vegetable on the side.