Braised duck in a bed of root vegetables — the duck wouldn't like it, but you will!
PHOTO: TIM NAUMAN PHOTOGRAPHY/WWW.TIMNAUMAN.COM
Maybe you've had braised duck before, and maybe even duck with sauerkraut. If you like to cook, you must have experimented with a root vegetables recipe or two. But have you ever put all three together? We have here. Give it a try and tell us what you think.
1 whole duck (4 to 5 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 baking potatoes or 6 to 8 fingerlings, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 to 4 cups peeled and cubed mixed root vegetables (carrots, golden beets, parsnips, rutabagas, salsify, turnips)
4 shallots, peeled and halved
1 quart sauerkraut (2 pounds), drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
To prepare the duck, remove the giblets, neck, and liver from the body cavity. Discard any fat that can be readily removed. Wash the duck, pat dry, and place in a large roasting pan. Prick the duck all over with a fork (very important!) to help release the fat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the vegetables around the duck, turning them so they are well-coated with the rendered duck fat. Return to the oven and roast for another 45 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the duck is browning. (If the duck is barely browning, increase the heat by 50 degrees; if it seems to be browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly.)
Meanwhile, taste the sauerkraut and rinse with warm water if it’s too salty. Drain well.
Remove the duck from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Pour off all but a few tablespoons of the fat from the roasting pan. (Save it for roasting your next batch of veggies!) Scatter the sauerkraut over the veggies around the duck, moisten it with the wine, and tuck in the bay leaves. Return to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes longer, until the duck is tender. Let the bird rest for a few minutes before carving. Serves 4.
Excerpted from Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman
See Fresh Winter Food for more winter recipes.