An unusual way to serve duck, Canard Braise avec Choucroute (kah-nahr bray-zay ah-vek shoo-croot) is a delicious one-dish
main course. It is well complemented by one of the heavier white Alsatian wines, such as Traminer.
1 x 6 lb. duck
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 oz. butter
2 oz. salt pork, diced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced 2 medium-sized carrots, scraped and sliced in julienne strips (about 1 -inches long and J-inch wide)
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
2 lb. canned sauerkraut
8 fl. oz. dry white wine 6 fl. oz. chicken stock or stock made with a stock cube 1 garlic clove 6 peppercorns 4 parsley
sprigs 1 bay leaf 10 juniper berries (optional)
Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3,170°C).
Prepare the duck for braising by clipping the wing ends and neck and trussing it so that the wings and legs are close to the body. Prick the skin around the thighs, back and lower breast. Rub half of the salt and pepper into the cavity. Close the cavity with a skewer.
In a very large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Place the duck in the casserole and brown it on all sides, turning it with two large spoons.
Cover the casserole and put it in the oven for 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork.
After the duck has been cooking for 1 hour, prepare the choucroute.
In a small saucepan half-full of boiling water blanch the diced salt pork over moderate heat for about 5 minutes to remove the excess salt. Drain the salt pork and dry thoroughly on kitchen paper towels.
In a large, deep frying-pan heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat. Add the diced salt pork and fry it for about 10
minutes, or until the dice resemble very small croutons. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook for 5 to 6
minutes, taking care that the vegetables do not brown. Add the chopped apple and the sauerkraut and with a metal spoon
stir well. Pour in the wine and the stock. Tie together in a small cheesecloth bag the garlic clove, peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf and juniper berries (if used) and add the bag to the frying-pan.
Increase the heat to high and bring the contents of the frying-pan to. the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to very
low and simmer the choucroutc for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth bag at the end of the cooking period, although, if used, the juniper berries may be added to the choucroute mixture. Season the choucroute with the remaining salt and pepper.
When the duck is cooked, transfer it from its casserole to a heated serving plate. Untruss the duck. Heap the choucroute
around the sides of the duck. Serve immediately.