Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What we had for X-mas - a Stuffed Duck Recipe

This year our X-mas meal was not traditional at all, we were holding out on the Estonian X-mas classic - the pork-sauerkraut-black pudding concoction - until my sister and her boyfriend would arrive. So on X-mas Eve we had duck that my mother prepared using a classic Russian recipe that was often used in her house by her mother when she was growing up.
The situation with getting any other kind of fresh meat than pork or beef is pretty pitiful in Estonia. There seems to be no market for goose, duck, rabbit and so on. But sometimes, if you're lucky you can find it. Usually not freshly butchered but freezed, but oh well.
So my mom found a frozen duck after some well executed detective work in the supermarkets. I'm not a great specialist on duck, but it seemed as if the freezing didn't really hurt it at all, probably as we cooked it whole (not those fatty breast fillets that you usually get in the restaurants).

Duck stuffed with apples and prunes served with potato and chanterelle mash (õunte ja mustade ploomidega täidetud part serveeritud kartuli ja kukeseenepüreega):
serves 4-6 people (depending on the size of the duck and the appetites)

1 whole duck (OK if frozen), keep the liver, the heart and the kidneys
4-5 sour apples
a large handful of dried prunes
thyme (can be dried)
freshly ground salt and pepper
~6 potatoes
1/2 glass of warm milk
a generous knob of butter
300 gr fried chanterelles or 600 gr fresh ones
if you're using fresh chanterelles 1 medium onion and 1 tbsp of butter

1. Defreeze the duck. Pat it with salt and pepper on the outside.
2. Wash and if possible soak the prunes for at least an hour (there's all kinds of nasty chemicals used for drying and preserving them nowadays).
3. Peel, deseed and cut up the sour apples.

4. Preheat the oven to 175 C.
5. Mix the apples and prunes with thyme, salt and pepper and stuff the duck with it.
6. Bake in the oven for 1.5 - 2 hours depending on the size of the duck.

Make sure no blood comes out when you pierce it. Bake the liver / kidneys / heart as well.

7. Peel and boil the potatoes.
8. If you are using fresh chanterelles, wash them, chop them and the onion. Fry the onion with some butter until golden then fry the chanterelles. We used the chanterelles we picked ourselves in the summer (my mom then fried and deep-freezed them).
9. Drain the potatoes, add the butter and the warm milk. Mash. Season. Add the chanterelles and mix.

10. When the duck is ready, scrape out the stuffing and blitz it with the baked internal organs and if it seems as it needs it some other trimmings.

11. Serve over the potato and chantarelle mash, with the stuffing on the side, decorate with orange or tangerine slices.

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