Jambonnette et Les Aiguillettes de Canard aux Myrtilles (Duck in Blueberry Sauce)
Duck legs stuffed with duck pate are served with narrow strips of duck breast, all in blueberry-studded pan sauce. There are several steps to this dish — making the sauce, making the puree, preparing both the duck legs and breasts. Read through the recipe carefully, deciding how you would like to divide the work. The sauce, for instance, can be prepared through the simmering stage; just before serving, it can be rewarmed and the blueberries added. Likewise, the duck legs can be prepared, then refrigerated; after rewarming to room temperature, they can be heated in the oven for 15 minutes until piping hot. The breasts can be sauteed once and refrigerated; later they can be skinned and sauteed the second time.
- Ducklings - 2, with giblets
- Onion - 1, chopped
- Carrot - 1, chopped
- Demi-glace - 2 cups
- Veal Shoulder - 4 ounces, chopped
- Pork Tenderloins - 4 ounces, chopped
- Eggs - 1 or 2, depending on size
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cognac - 2 ounces
- Port Wine - 2 ounces
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 2 ounces
- Blueberries - 1 pint
- Peanut Oil - 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the duck giblets and set aside. Cut off each leg and thigh in one piece. Remove the breasts from the bone whole.
To make the sauce, Chop the carcass and put into a roasting pan with the onion and carrot. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the bones are browned. Put the browned bones and vegetables in a pot and add the demi-glace. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1 hour, longer if desired. Strain and discard the solids, then put the sauce in a saucepan. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the stuffing, put the reserved liver and gizzard into a food processor with veal and pork. Puree a few seconds and add the egg. Season with salt and pepper and continue to process. Add the cognac and port and blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Carefully cut open the thigh of a duck leg and cut out the thigh bone; fill the pocket created with stuffing and fold the skin around it. Repeat with all the legs. Wrap the legs in buttered foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Remove; set aside.
In a small saute pan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Stir in the vinegar. Cook until syrupy; this mixture is called gastrique, and is used with a number of game meat preparations. Strain into the duck-enriched brown sauce. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the blueberries. Set aside; keep warm.
To finish the duck, heat the oil in a large sauce pan or skillet over medium-high heat and saute the breasts until browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn and brown again on the other side. Take the breasts out of the pan and remove the skin. Brown the breasts again on both sides (the skin provides some duck fat for the first browning). Slice the breasts into narrow strips.
To serve: Place a stuffed duck leg (jambonnette) on each warmed serving plate. Arrange duck breast slices (aiguillettes) beside each. Spoon sauce over the legs and sliced breast meat.