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Braised duck with apples

This recipe can be used for wild or farmed duck, though wild duck will need a longer cooking time to become tender. Either way, the caramelised apple of this dish perfectly complements the subtle flavour of the duck. 

Braised Duck with Apples

This recipe can be used for wild or farmed duck, though wild duck will need a longer cooking time to become tender. Either way, the caramelised apple of this dish perfectly complements the subtle flavour of the duck. We used breasts and legs from Moreish.

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 duck cut into quarters, or 4 duck legs, thighs or breasts
4 small Braeburn apples, halved through the equator
2 large onions, cut into sixths through the root
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1⁄4 cup white wine (we used Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc)

To finish

1⁄4 cup crème fraîche
chopped flat-leaf (or Italian) parsley 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

If using a whole duck, remove the rib cage and breast bone from the duck pieces and trim off the wing tips. Tie each piece with string to form a neat shape.

Heat butter and olive oil in a cast-iron casserole dish or ovenproof sauté pan on a medium to high heat. Add duck and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate. Drain off excess fat. Add apples cut side down and cook on both sides until tender and deeply golden. Remove and set aside.

Add a little fat to the pan (if necessary) then add onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme and cook for 10 minutes. Pour in wine and allow to bubble up, scraping the base of the pan to release any sticky bits. Stir in stock, then add the duck and juices. Season and bring to the boil. Cover and place in oven for 1-1 1⁄2 hours (for farmed duck) or at least 3 hours (for wild duck) until very tender.

Stir in the crème fraîche and parsley just before serving.

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