Piece of life
Originally this recipe was supposed to be Asian-style cooked duck, but when I was about to get started, I realized I was missing one of the principal elements of the recipe. I was a bit stuck with my duck to cook, and I remembered my mother’s recipe. She used to cook duck from time to time, with olives and port wine, and here was the solution to my problem.
But the effect I hadn’t anticipated was the reaction of my daughter. She suddenly realized that the meat we eat is coming from animals and, therefore, they were killed for it. We have been reducing our meat consumption for several years now, but we still eat some. She had never questioned us about the origin of the meat, but the duck had a shock effect [probably because we spend hours watching them in the park]. So after much grief, we discussed the origin of the meat and the choices she can make about her diet. For now, she has decided to continue to eat it, we will see what she decides later. I must confess that this conversation got deep into me, I am sensitive to the animal condition, and my daughter’s questions brought me back to some of my reflections.
About the duck, olives & port wine
It’s a perfect dish for the holidays. After all, it’s not every day you cook duck, and port wine brings a gourmet and festive touch.
1/There are several duck farms in Quebec, so preferably buy from a local farm. You will easily find some in grocery stores, fresh or frozen.
2/ I had a whole duck. So I cut it into pieces [actually, Hubby did it], and I used the breasts and legs for this recipe. I kept the rest of the meat and the carcass to make a broth. This time I made an Asian-style broth [to make up for my aborted recipe] with star anise, cinnamon, ginger… There are many possibilities. You can freeze it to use later [I advise you to let it cool down and degrease it first].
3/ I mix some port and white wine to soften the taste. But you can adjust the quantities of alcohol according to your tastes.
Duck with olives & port wine sauce
- 4 duck legs (or breasts, or a mix)
- 250 g of white mushrooms
- 150 g large green olives pitted
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 80 ml port wine
- 125 ml white wine
- 100 ml water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the pan (fat free). Once hot, place the pieces of meat on the skin side. The skin of the duck will start to melt. Once the skin is golden brown, remove the pieces of duck and set them aside. Remove most of the fat from the pan (but keep a little bit of it).
- In the pan with the rest of the duck fat, add the sliced onions and cook them for 1 to 2 min. Add the garlic. Deglaze with the port and white wine. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the olives, the mushrooms and the meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If using a pressure cooker, close and cook for 25 to 30 minutes from the rotation of the valve. If you use a classic pan, the cooking time will be longer.