For 8 people.
3 (4 to 5 lb) ducklings
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
1 carrot and 1 onion roughly chopped
Salt, thyme, bay leaf
1/2 cup of Dijon mustard
1 cup of white bread crumbs
2 Tbsp of butter, 2 Tbsp of minced shallots
1/2 cup of Madeira wine
- Chop ducks’ wings off at the elbows and brown them in cooking oil with the necks, gizards and vegetables in a heavy saucepan.
- Cover with water, add the herbs and simmer with 1/2 tsp of salt for 2 hours.
- Sprinkle inside of ducks with 1/4 tsp of salt, a pinch of thyme and tuck in a bay leaf.
- Pull out any fat from inside neck and cavity.
- Prick the skin where you see yellow fat under skin.
- Truss the wings and then the legs.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place ducks breast up in a roasting pan and set in middle of oven.
- Roast 30 to 35 minutes until breast meat is just springy to the touch.
- While the ducks are still warm, peel off their skin from the breasts.
Cut up the duck:
- Remove the legs and separate leg from thigh.
- Cut skin into strips and place in baking dish.
- Paint legs and thighs with a thin coating of mustard, roll in crumbs, season to taste and put in another baking dish.
- Cut the breast meat into thin slices and reserve in warm oven.
- Add the rest of the carcass to your cooking stock and make sure it cooks for at least 1/2 hour (see first paragraph for 2 hours total cooking time).
- Drain, degrease and reserve this duck stock for the sauce. You should have about 1 cup.
- Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a frying pan, sprinkle in the shallots and cook slightly.
- Pour in the Madeira wine and the duck stock.
- Reduce gently while doing the final roasting.
- Reheat oven to 400°F.
- Half an hour before you plan to serve dinner, set skin strips and duck legs in the upper third level of the oven.
- Roast skin until brown.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.
- Toss with salt and pepper.
- Roast legs until just tender for 20 minutes.
- Keep both warm in turned off oven until ready to serve.
- Set the thin slices of breast meat in a pan.
- Cover with some of the duck stock and bring to a gentle simmer to poach the meat.
- Arrange it on a hot platter and boil down the cooking juice until syrupy while you arrange the legs and the skin cracklings on the platter.
- Pour the juice over the breast meat and serve at once.
- Pour the rest of the sauce into a gravy boat for additional serving.